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Full text of "Wyoming History Journal (continued - Annals of Wyoming)"

'ijoming 

History Journal 



y^ummer IQQS 'J)o\. 67,%. I 



i>Ai 







Report from the WSHS Executive Secretary 



Welcome to the Wyoming State Historical Society's 
official Journal of Wyoming history, Wyoming History 
Journal. Wyoming History Journal is being published 
by long-time members of the Wyoming State Historical 
Society and is provided to you, as its predecessor Annals of 
Wyoming has been since the founding of the WSHS, as a 
benefit of membership. You may notice that this issue is 
somewhat different from the publication you have been 
receiving and that difference warrants some explanation. 

Six months ago Celeste Colgan, new director of the 
Wyoming Department of Commerce, told the WSHS's 
executive committee that the relationship between the 
society and the DoC was under scrutiny. Ms. Colgan 
suggested that this might mean ending state support for the 
WSHS's coordinator and for Annals of Wyoming as a 
benefit of society membership. In June, Ms. Colgan con- 
tinned the withdrawal of state support indicating that an 
infonnal opinion issued by an assistant attorney general 
had called the relationship "unconstitutional." 

Ms. Colgan's decision not to provide the Annals of 
Wyoming to the WSHS members does not mean the DoC 
will not publish a journal. Since her original announce- 
ment, DoC staffers, and others, have been trying to deter- 
mine whether they will publish a journal, what it will cost, 
and what it will look like. Ms. Colgan has stated that the old 
Annals was focused too narrowly on history and a new 
journal w ould have to appeal to a w ider audience. The new 
journal would also have to be self-supporting, relying on 
subscriptions and donations to succeed. At times the pro- 
posed journal has been described as promoting the DoC or 
as being modeled after the Montana Magazine ofHistoiy. 
She told the Wyoming Legislature's Joint Travel, Recre- 
ation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Committee on 
August 2 that there would be a DoC journal but that what 
it would look like had not yet been decided. It might also 
cost as much as $25 for an annual subscription. It may also 
come out in direct competition with the journal you are 
now reading. 

In the meantime, the Wyoming State Historical Soci- 
ety decided to celebrate its rebirth as a private historical 
organization by going forward and continuing to meet its 
obligations to its membership. The Casper Star Tribune 
reported that following Ms. Colgan's decision to cut off 
support to the society and end the distribution of Annals as 
a benefit of membership the executive committee appeared 
"resigned" to the decision. Though the society's first 
president , Frank Bowron, had written a spirited rebuttal to 
the informal assistant attorney general's opinion; though 



\ 



no governor since the society's founding in 1953 e^ 
questioned the relationship; though no Appropriatio 
Committee member in my memory has questioned 1i 
funding; the executive committee decided not to conts 
the decision and to begin to reorganize. 

In order to make certain that the general business of tl 
WSHS would be carried out without inconvenience to t' 
membership, the executive committee contracted with 
private service (which then hired Judy West our forrr 
coordinator) to maintain the correspondence and memb 
ship records and to compile the information need for t 
awards luncheon at the annual meeting. We will contin 
this arrangement through September. 

The executive committee also felt it had an obligati 
to provide a journal of Wyoming history to its membc 
ship. Rick Ewig and Dr. Phil Roberts, both long tir 
members of the WSHS and fonner editors of Annals 
Wyoming, volunteered to produce a quality history jourrr 
for the members. While this journal may not look as sli 
as what you have become accustomed to - that W( 
designed and visually interesting publication was prr 
duced with equipment the WSHS helped the DoC to bm 
and which has not been returned - it will be a solid! 
researched and interesting collection of Wyoming histon: 
Its Board of Editors includes most of Wyoming's best am 
best known historians. The name was changed by motiw 
of the society's executive committee on Aug. 1 2 in orderr 
better describe the journal's contents and mission. 

This is truly your journal and we want to hear froi 
you. What kinds of articles do you want? How often shout 
we publish? How important are book reviews? Film n 
views? Museum exhibit reviews? Photographs? Layouii 
Price? 

Just as Wyoming History Journal is yours, the WSF 
is yours. It is extremely important that you talk to yo 
elected leaders. They need to have your ideas as to how 
proceed into the future. Come to the WSHS meetings 
Casper September 8, 9,10. Attend your chapter meetinii 
and talk about your state society. And please support yo' 
WSHS. These volunteers, long-time dedicated WSF 
members, need your help. 



Dr. David KathH 



-Editors 

Rick Ewig 
Phil Roberts 

/oming State Historical Society 
ficers, 1994-1995 

th Lauritzen, President 
Green River 

iggi Layton, First Vice President 
Riverton 

;n Morris, Second Vice President 
Kemmerer 
erry Taylor, Secretary 
Casper 

:k Ewig, Treasurer 
Laramie 

ard of Editors 

rbara Allen Bogart 
Euanston (1996) 
in Hodgson 
Torrington (1996) 
wrence M. Woods 
Worland (1996) 
A. Larson 
Laramie (1997) 
hn D. McDermott 
Sheridan (1997) 
in Noble 
Cora (1997) 
omas F. Stroock 
Casper (1997) 
vid Kathka 

Rock Springs (1998) 
lliam H. Moore 
Laramie (1998) 
erry Smith 
Jackson (1998) 

5HS Publications Committee 

(Ex Officio) 
chael Cassity, 
Laramie 
alter Edens, 
Laramie 
iry Garman, 
Sundance 
ren Jost, 
Riverton 



'uipimng 

History Journal 



'Jfie'lounml of tfu: '/I 'yarning State 'Jii.'^toricaf Society 
Summer 1995 '/ 'of 67, :\p. 1 

Report from the WSHS Executive Secretary Inside Front 

By Dr. David Kathka .^. : 

The Wyoming Sheepwagon ' 2 

By Nancy Wei del 

Many Wyomiiii; craftsmen and sheep ranchers were invnlvedin the evuhitidn nftlus 
symbol (if the Wyaming ranife. 

Railroad Ladies: 18 

Prostitution in Laramie. Wy(iniini;. lX6S-iy()() 
By Carol Lee Bowers 

For the women who n'orkecl in I.iiramie's Jeminionde there wiis tilth' ■^hinimir and 
nnich siifferiiii;- 



Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief: 32 

The Life of Frank Powell, Medicine Man 
By I'jic V. Siirg 

Ahnii; with his other titles, he was a politician and speculator, hut he max he best 
remembered for his close friendship with the legendan' Buffalo Bill. 

Cover Art 

"The Rendezvous near (ireen River-Oregon" (1837) 

Alfred Jacob Miller ioined the 1837 American h'ur Trading expedition to the rendezvous 
held near Horse Creek, a Green River tributary' in what is today southwestern Wyoming, 
Miller was the first artist to travel the Oregon Trail and the only artist to record events 
associated with the fur trade. Miller's paintings portray a romantic West. The painting ism 
the American Heritage Center. University of Wyoming, and used here by permission. 

ITie design of the title, above and on the cover, was done by .lanet Van Nuys. .Ian. a 
Lai ainie graphic artist, is owner of Typcworks Creative Services. 



Wyninuig tiislon Joiinuil \s pulili.shed hy ttie Wyoming .State Hi.'^toncal Society m cooperation with the 
American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming, and the Department of Hi.story, l'niver<;ity of 
Wyoming. The |Ournal wa.s formerly known a.s the Quarterly Biillelin (\')l'i-25). Annals ofWyonun^ 
( \^}2f<-\99'i) and Wyomm:i Annals (199.^-199.'i). The journal ha.s been the official publication of the 
Wyoming State Historical Society since 19.^.^ The Co-Editor."; of Wyoming Histon .lounial welcome 
manuscripts on every aspect of Wyoming and We.stern hi.siory. Authors should submit manuscripts on 
diskettes utilizing Word Perfect. Microsoft Word or ASCII text, and two copies double-spaced hard copy 
to: Wyoming Histoty Joiinial. P. O. Box 421^6, University Station, Laramie, WY 82071. Manuscripts 
should conform to.l Manual of Style (University of Chicago Press). Authors are responsible for the 
interpretation m their articles. .Manuscripts are refereed hy members of the Board of Editors and others. 
The co-editors make decisions regarding publication. 

Wyoming Histon .lounial is received by members of the Wyoming State Historical Society. Current 
membership is 2..^.'iO. Membership duos are: single S9. joint SI 2. institutional S20. To join, write the 
editors. Copies of Wyoming Histoiy Journal may be purchased from the editors. .lournal articles are 
abstracted in Historical Ahslracts and Americ{i: History and Life. 

Copyrigtit Wyoming State Hismrical Stx'icty l'''),'i 




J. E. Slimson Photograph. Cultural Resources Division. Dept. ofComiiwne, State of Wyoming 



I W5 



hJNcI itiE corraI In sort of a heAp 

\ hoME likE I USEd whEN I ONCE [HERdEd S^EEp. 

E ROof is aH qoME, iIhe sidE \N dECAy 

E flooR ANd ifiE whEEls jusT RonJNq AWAy. 

E old double trees tIte Itorses IriTclrEd to 

VE loNq qoNE tIte wAy tItat qood antIques do. 

E TONqUE is A WRECk, bEEN aH shoRTENEd Up 

■pEARS TO IhAVE bEEN STubbed foR A ModERN pick'Up. 

E sllEEphERdERS STOVE iN tItE CORNER by tIhE doOR 

RUSTiNq AWAy u/ItIt aU Its Iore 

OAkEd tIte bEST biscuiTS, cooked tIte tastIest stew 

d ii bREwed bEUER coHee tItan motIter could do. 

E llASp ON tIhE doOR Is fASTENEd wItIt A Slick 

lyoNE could ENTER wiThouT ANy TRick. 

Ey could STiR up a MEaI to TlrEiR own dESiRE 

,T cIean up tIhe mess ANd Ieave wood foR A Nre. 
E ovERliEAd bows ARE qood TO tItIs dAy 

T tItE CANVAS ROof ItAS WASTEd AWAy. 

E [antern foR liqlrT is STill hANqiNq tItere 
tIt a CArsdlE NEARby to use as a SpARE. 

E IaST IrERdER CAMp I SAW ON tItE RANqE 

\s slriNiNq ANd qlisTENEd, iT lookEd qoofy ANd sTRANqE. 

tIt qAS ANd A RElRiq wIhO could dREAM of TflE likE 

id beside It was pARkEd a Suzuki bike. 

jthorof poem unknown. Reciled by Bill Norton. Buffalo, Gel. 15, 1993. 
ton restores sheepwagons and write.s cowboy poetry. 



it's fiard to imagine Wyoming without the sheepwagon. 
which played such an important role in the state's once 
large sheep industry. One hundi'cd and ten years after its 
introduction the sheepwagon can still be seen in parts of 
the state, a lonely silhouette on a desolate landscape. 

Large bands of sheep once fed on the grass and 
sagebrush Wyoming; in the yearly grazing cycle, sheep 
often moved hundreds miles, from the winter range of 
lowerelevations to the mountain summer range. This type 
of sheep management, known as transhumance. was 
introduced by Spaniards to the New World in the 16th 
century. The practice of transhumance moved into this 
country with the development of the sheep industry in New 
Mexico. Arizona. Texas, and Calit\)rnia. L'nlike cattle, 
sheep required the presence of humans to watch over and 
protect them from predators and sudden storms. The 
sheepherder served this function and played a vital role m 
the history cif the western sheep industry. - 

In grazing areas of the southwest, the herder and his 
dog followed the sheep. One or two pack animals carried 
supplies, and the herder often slept on the ground beneath 
the stars. Due to the severe weather of the high plains and 
mountains of the northern states, the herder needed pro- 
tection on the open range from the snow and winds of 
winter and the mountain storms of summer. 

The Wyoming sheep industry developed during the 
1870"s in the .southern part of the state along the Union 
Pacific Railroad, a convenient access to distant markets. 
By 1880. more than one-half million sheep grazed in the 
state. The industry boomed by 1900 as more men entered 
the business and total stock sheep numbered 3. 675. 000. • 

By that time, sheepwagons had become an integral 
tool of the industry and were being built all over the state.' 
Sheepwagons replaced the tent and dugouts on the w inter 
range, although the "herders tipi" (a small tent) continued 



-Edward Norri.s Wentworth. Americn's Slwcp Trails 
(Ames: Iowa State College Press. 1948), 11-12, 143. 

'Wentworth. 312. 

"• Wyoming Agricultural Statistics: 1994. (Cheyenne: Wyoming 

Department of Agriculture; Wyoming Agricultural Statistics 

Service; University of Wyoming, College of Agriculture, 14441, 

17. 

'Ads for sheepwagon builders began appearing m the Wsoming 
State Business Directories around ihis time. 

" Interview of Bill Taliaferro. Rock Springs, Feb. 2,1944; Inter\ie\\ 
of Vern Vivion, Rawlins, Nov. 8. 1994. 



Wyoming Histon' Journal 

to be used in the highest elevations of the mountain 
summer range." 

Designed for a specific puipose, the sheepwagon was 
the ideal home for the herder. About 11-1/2 feet long and 
6-1/2 feet wide, it was enclosed by a canvas top, with a 
stove for heat and cooking. A. most important feature was 
that it could be moved easily. The wagon contained lots of 
storage areas, both inside and out. A large box built on the 
back of some wagons held grain. Other wagons had a 
moveable wooden grate in this same spot which carried 
equipment. Wagons often had smaller exterior mess boxes 
built on the sides of the wagon box, between the front and 
back v\ heels. Some of these could be accessed from both 
inside and outside the wagon. 

Although sheepwagons were used early on in the Big 
Horn Mountains, some herders in Carbon and Sweetwater 
Counties continued to use pack animals and the ""herders 
tipi"" in the highest ele\ ations of the summer range be- 
cause it was impossible to trail a sheepwagon there. 

Teams of horses pulled the compact, efficient wagon 
over the vast grazing areas of Wyoming. The herder, with 
his sheep and dogs for company, and the wagon for a home, 
might stay in a remote grazing area for one or two weeks, 
depending on the amount of forage. The camptender, who 



delivered supplies and moved the sheepwagon to a n 
location, might be the herder's only contact with civili;| 
tion for months at a time. 

The basic sheepwagon consisted of a rectangu 
wagon box, with 1 8-inch wide horizontal wood extensic 
on each side that increased the interior space of the wag 
by three additional feet and gave the wagon its unusi 
shape. The bows, as few as four or as many as eig 
crossed by stays, comprised the roof structure. A canvi 
cover, applied loosely over the roof, provided protecti 
from the weather. It eventually shrank as it got wet. At le: 
one builder poured melted paraffin over the canvas tc j 
which helped waterproof it.' A layer of one or two blank( 
installed under the canvas provided insulation for t 
wagon. Women often had a hand in this aspect of t 
construction. Mrs. Vashti Huff remembered the difficui 
of stitching long blankets together on her home sewiii 
machine to make the insulation layer for the sheepwagoi 
her husband built." 

' Interview of Vashti Henderson HutT, Buffalo. Oct 17, 1993. ' 
Ninety-one-year-old Mrs. Huff is the daughter of James 
Henderson, and the wife of the late Elmer Huff. Both men built 
sheepwagons in Johnson County. She recalled watching the 
paraffin waterproofing process, 
interview of V. Huff. 1993. 



. — Stove Pipe 



*Bench Lid 




Storage Space 



Coal oil Lamp 
Sometimes arranged 
to slide forward 
& back 

Cupboard for pots, 
pans, seasoning, etc. 



• One on either 
side of wagon 
opens into 
bins or boot 



Tongue 



Tin to keep hot 
coals off floor 

Rough sketch of the 
inside of a sheep- 
wagon with front & 
door removed 



Everylliini^ liticl its place in a sheepherder's wagon. Illustration from Jack Gage. Ten Sleep and No Rest. 



Hinimcr 



14Q5 



t Zella Pelloux Slayton. daughter of Buffalo sheep 
licher Martin Pelloux. recalled that she and her mother 
vays repaired the canvas and blankets on their wagon 
)S. Unlike the Huff insulation, which layered the entire 
if. only the area above the bed was insulated in the 
lioux wagons." 

The exterior canvas had to be replaced frequently due 
general wearor destructive hail storms. Casper"s Kistler 
nt & Awning Company, established in 1918. provided 
rivas for many of the early wagons in the central and 
rtheast areas of the state. Even today. Kistler makes 
rivas sheepwagon covers. 

The sheepwagon is a marvel of practicality and 
jmpactness. The interior configuration proved so effi- 
i'nt that 1 10 years after its "invention."" the same basic 
in is used in the few sheepwagons made today. Whether 
design or accident, the sheepwagon interior also served 
the model for many modern campers. One can begin to 
preciate the durability of the sheepwagon's interior 
'sign when it is contrasted with the changes in residential 
)or plans that have occurred over the past one hundred 
ars, a gradual evolution from small enclosed rooms to 
■ge open living areas. The sheepwagon retained its 
iginal interior configuration because the space worked 
efficiently. 

The door was at the front of the wagon. Most doors 
.'re six feet high, a few inches shorter than the interior 
ight of the wagon. As one stepped into the wagon from 
; tongue, a stove sat to the immediate right with the 
)vepipe extending to the outside through a hole in the 
nvas top. Some type of built-in cupboard or shelf 
ually occupied the space behind the stove. Easy-to- 
.'an oil cloth often covered a portion of the wall and 
iling near the stove. Each long side of the wagon had a 
nch for sitting that doubled as storage space. A hinged 
I provided access to the storage space within the bench, 
lich held tlour. meat, or other food supplies. Some 
igons had a built-in tlour box placed on the end of the 
nch across from the stove, just left of the front door. The 
iter Jug usually rested in this corner, on the bench. 

Located opposite the front door, the bed was built on 
raised, enclosed platform, perpendicular to the side 
nches. An operable window was always built in the back 
all of the wagon, above the bed. A table, actually a long 
lb of wood, slid out from a slot under the bed and was 
ten supported by a gate leg or a chain that hung from the 
iling and attached to the front end of the table. With the 
3le extended for eating, the side benches provided com- 
rtable seating for the diners. The table also came in 



handy as an extra bed; it could be pulled all the way out 
from its cavity, with each end resting on a side bench to 
create a sleeping surface. 

The enclosed space under the bed platform and table 
slot contained additional storage space that could be 
accessed either by doors, drawers, or a combination of 
both, depending on the wish of the buyer or the whim of the 
builder. Sometimes, the builder left the space under the 
bed open so a herder could store bulkier supplies such as 
a saddle, lamp, kerosene, and boots. 

Although the fiist wagons had only a canvas tlap for 
a door, a double door, or stable door as the English called 
it. quickly replaced the flap and became one of the 
sheepwagon"s most prominent features. The top door 
could remain open while the bottom stayed shut. Tiiis 
functional feature served a number of different purposes. 
With the top open, the herder could hear and see his sheep. 
The open top door also provided ventilation for the wagon 
and controlled the heat of the stove which could be quite 
intense. 

According to ranchers, the primary function of the 
double door was that a herder or camptender could remain 
standing within the wagon, sometimes even sitting on the 
side bench, and extend his arms through the open top door 
to hold the reins of the horses while the wagon was being 
moved. Erom \\ithin the wagon, the driver could also 
operate the wagon brake, located to the right as he faced 
out. The bottom door, the smaller of the two, remained shut 
during a move so the driver would not fall out of the 
wagon.'" 

People wonder who invented the sheepwagon and 
speculate that the first ones were modeled on the Conestoga 
wagon. Actually, the Conestoga wagon reached its peak of 
activity in the years between 1 820 and I S40 and probably 
never made it west of the Ohio Valley. It is oWnn confused 
with the "prairie schooner." the wagon that transported 
many pioneers across the continent.' 

" Interview of Zclki Pelloux Slaylon. Bultalo. Oct. 17. \^M}. 

'" Interview of Don Meike, Nov. 14, 199,^. Carbon County sheep 
raneher Vern Vivion eoncurred on the primary function of the 
door. 

' George Shumway. Edward Durell, Howard C. Frey, Coiie.sf(>i;ii 
Wagon 1750-1850: Freight Carrier for 100 Years of America's 
Wesnvard Expansion (York. Pa.: Early American Industries 
Association. Inc. and George .Shumway. 1964). 1-2. 

'' Agnes Wright Spring. "Sheep Wagon Home on Wheels 
originated in Wyoming." Wyoming Stocknum-Farmer 46. 
(December 194(1): I..^; Clel Georgetta. Golden Fleece in Ncvadti 
(Reno: Venture Publishing. 1972). 79-80; Tlie Ranchers (Alexan- 
dria. Va: Time-Life Books. 1977). 96. 



Wyoming History Journal 

James Candlish, a Rawlins. Wyoming, blacksmith, 
is most often credited with the "invention" of the 
sheepwagon in 1884.'= But evolution of the wagon is 
perhaps a more apt term than outright invention. In earlier 
studies on sheepwagons. both Idaho folklorist Tom Carter 
as well as his Nevada colleague, Blanton Owen, recog- 
nized Candlish as one who. among others, refined the 
sheepwagon into the form we know today." For reasons 
lost in time, the credit went to Candlish early on, although 
a search of official records revealed no patent for the 
sheepwagon. in Candlish's name or any other. 

The Wyoming Wool Growers Association wished to 
credit Candlish as the inventor; in 1909 they commis- 
sioned a commemorative fob made of three small discs 
linked by a chain. The top disc noted the "5th Annual 
Convention Wyoming Wool Growers Assn. January 1 1- 
12, 1909." The middle disc bore a likeness of "The 
Inventor James Candlish." The bottom disc featured a 
sheepwagon and proclaimed "The Modern Sheep Palace 
Was Made in Rawlins. Wyoming 1884." Each member of 
the Wool Growers Association received this souvenir fob 

at the annual banquet that 
year in Rawlins. One of 
these 1909 fobs is on dis- 
play at the Laramie Plains 
Museum(see photo, left). 
Noted Wyoming 
author Agnes Wright 
Spring conducted re- 
search into the invention 
ofthe sheepwagon for one 
of the first articles ever 
written about them.'^ 
Spring's article became a 
major source for many of 
the articles that followed 
on sheepwagons over the 
next thirty years." In re- 
sponse to her inquiries, 
she received a letter from 
one of James Candlish's 
daughters, Mrs. Fred W. 
Dodge, of Ontario, Or- 
egon, who supplied de- 
tails of Candlish's life. 
Born in Montreal, Que- 
bec, Canada, her father 
learned the wagon mak- 
ing and blacksmith trades 

Photo by Richard Collier 




there. He made his way to the United States where j 
worked as a blacksmith for the Union Pacific at Omal i 
Nebraska. i 

Candlish followed the building ofthe tracks westi 
Rawlins, then worked for the government at Fort Stee i 
He had moved to Rawlins by 1881 where he establishes i 
blacksmith shop at the corner of 5th and Buffalo Stree i 
near the site of the present-day Carbon County Cou I 
house. Mrs. Dodge credited her father with the design a i 
building of the first sheepwagon which she referred to . 
"the house on wheels."'" ; 

Candlish did not remain in Rawlins for long. Nev 
paper accounts show that he sold his "Blacksmith She \ 
tools and stock for $1000.00" in 1885." It is believed tl i 
the Candlish family moved to the Lander area from Rawli i 
and little is known of James Candlish after 1885."* 

A letter from Mrs. Frank Ferris to the State Historic 
Board disputed the claim of the Candlish invention. Ml 
Ferris stated that she married Frank Ferris, son of one i 
Rawlins' most prominent sheep-ranchers, George Ferrl 
who ranched in the area during the late 19th and early 2C I 
centuries. Mrs. Ferris noted that "credit was given, and 
accepted it, to Ed Cowdlish (sic) for inventing and maki 
the first sheep wagon. The truth is this." 

Mrs. Ferris explained that George Ferris came 
Rawlins before the Union Pacific arrived and became t 
second person to start raising sheep there. She claimed tH 
George Ferris designed and built the first sheep wage 

"Tom Carter. "Home on the Range: Utah Sheep Camps," unpub- ' 
lished paper presented at the Utah State History Society meeting. 
Sept. 8, 1979. | 

'"' Spring, Wyoming Stockman-Farmer. 1.3. j 

'^ Sheepwagon articles are cyclical and appear about every 10 yei 
or so. in newspapers and periodicals. Although she is rarely cited I 
Agnes Wright Spring's 1940 article is obviously the source for rr 
of these. Like the game "Whispering Down the Lane." over time 
some ofthe information in Spring's original article became dis- 
torted. Examples of a few of the articles are: Wanda Daley. "Evo 
tion of Sheep Wagon Came Through Necessity, Comfort and 
Inventive Minds," Northern Wyoming Daily News. August 23, 19' 
Maurice Kildare. "Sheepherder's Home," Relics 1 (Spring, 1968): 
16; Neal Blair, "The Sheepherder's Castle," Wyoming Wildlife 40t 
(April 1976): 29-31; Claire Casey, "The Sheep Wagon," Wester> 
Horseman 57, (June 1992): 64-69. 
"■ Letter, Dodge to Spring, Oct. 12, 1940. Vertical File, 
Historical Research Section, Wyoming State Museum, 
Cheyenne. 

' ' Record Bill Sale Book A, p. 445, County Clerk's Office, 
Carbon County Courthouse, Rawlins. 

'"Interview of Rans Baker, Rawlins, Feb. 16, 1994. Baker is a 
historian who has researched James Candlish and 
sheepwagons. 



;rn miner 



199; 



'hich was "some larger than the present day wagon and a 
anvass curtain was used instead of a door. " She added that 
1 1890. Ferris hired Ed Coudlish (sic) to build a sheep 
'agon "to his specifications" of which she had a picture, 
he added that her husband. Frank Ferris, was "nearing 80" 
nd requested that "this little bit of history should be 
orrected while he is living."'" 

A Douglas blacksmith. Frank George, is sometimes 
ited as the inventor of the wagon. George's biographv 
junds similar to that of Candlish. Born in Wisconsin in 
856, George trained as a wagonmaker. He airived in 
/yoming in 1 877 and spent three years at Fort Fetterman. 
^pairing wagons with Charles Hogson. a Swedish 
agonmaker. and Fred Ericson. a Norwegian blacksmith, 
rcorge worked on wagons from Fort Reno and Fort 
aramie, and also did some freighting in the area. 

Frank George moved to Douglas in 1887. shortly 
ler the Fremont. Elkhorn & Missouri Valley Railroad 
;ached that town, opened a wagon and blacksmith shop, 
id later worked for the Florence Hardware and Lumber 
ompany. He is credited with building, according to 
arious sources, either "the first sheep wagon ever built in 
'ouglas,"-" or "the first sheep wagons ever built."- some- 
me in the late 1880s or early 1890s. The George wagon 
;came known as the Florence wagon, named for the wife 
f Mr. Knittle. the owner of the hardware company. 

George remained in Douglas until 1902, when he 
lOved to Sheridan and operated a wagon shop for si.x 
;ars. He then homesteaded near Rozet and established a 
agon and blacksmith shop in Gillette in 1923.-- 

A number of sheepwagons made by Frank George 
irvive today. One is displayed at Gillette's Rockpile 
[useum. George may have built the Florence Hardware 
leepwagon at Buffalo's Jim Gatchell Museum. 

The idea of a covered wagon for a shepherd was not 
new one. An antecedent of the sheepwagon was a small 
ctangular shepherd's hut used in the British Isles during 
e nineteenth century. In the English novel. Far From the 
'adJiiiii Crowd, published in 1 874. author Thomas Hardy 
ascribed the shepherd's hut: 

The hut stood on little wheels, uhich raised its floor 
about a foot from the ground. Such shepherds' huts 
are dragged into the fields when the lanibuig season 
comes on. to shelter the shepherd in his enforced 
night attendance. The hut had a door, a small stove, 
and the bed which consisted of a rather hard 
couch, formed of a few corn sacks. ..covered half 
the floor of this little habitation. In the comer stood 
the sheep-crook, and along a shelf at one side were 



ranged bottles and canisters.. On a triangular shelf 
across the corner stood bread, bacon, cheese. ..The 
house was ventilated by two round holes, like the 
lights of a ship's cabin, wuh wood slides.-' 

The sheepwagon as we know it todav is clearly 
related to Hardy's shepherd's hut: a door, small stove. 
\entilation holes, the ideaof shelter for the shepherd. But 
the shepherd's hut was a smaller, heavier wagon, not 
designed to travel the hundreds of yearly miles over rough 
terrain demanded of the western sheepwagon. 

Another relation to British Isles antecedents can be 
found m the writings of Robert Taylor, one of the most 
successful sheep ranchers of the late mth and carl\ 2()th 
centuries. Taylor immigrated from Scotland to Pennsylva- 
nia in 1867. After spending the 1870s in California. Taylor 
trailed a herd of sheep to Wyoming in 1 880. By 1 883. he 
had set up ranch headquarters at Antelope Springs, near 
Rav\lins. 

Taylor spent Christmas of 1SS6 m a sheepwagon 
thirty miles west of Rawlins. In a letter to his brother in 
Scotland, dated December 25. 1886. Tayk'r v\rote "1 am 
writing this in one of my sheep wagons. These are filled 
like a cheap traveling van in the old country with stove, 
bunk. etc. We move around all winter."-' 

Another antecedent to our western sheepw agon is the 
"gypsy wagon." An 1880 monthly journal. Fhe Coach 
Painter, described a gypsy wagon "recently built in Pitts- 
burgh" as "elegantly carved and painted, with three win- 
dows on each side which can be lowered, and three at the 
back. The wagon is divided into two parts, the rear being 
the bed-room, and the whole interior is lined with drugget 
[coarse woolen stuff used for floor co\ering]."-' "Vashti 

'"Ferris to Mr. Fred W. Marble. May 16. 1955. Vertical File. 
Wyoming State Museum, Historical Research, Cheyenne. 

-" "A Venerable Pioneer of Early Wyoming Days." \\'P.\ File 34S. 

Historical Research Section. Wyoming State Museum. Cheyenne. 

The 1936 article was a collaboration between Georgia B. Kelley 

and 80-year-old Frank George. 

-' CiUt'lte Newa-Record. July 27. 1967. 9. This article, written by a 

family friend of Frank George, is a good example of how "facts" 

are altered over time. The 1936 article (footnote #20). claimed 

George "built the first sheep wagon ever built there." 

-- WPA File #34S. 

-' Thomas Hardy, Fur Frmn The Mtulilmi; Cnmil (New York:. The 

New American Library. Inc. .19601. 19-21. John Vince. GUI Funiis: 

An llliistnileil Guide (New \'ork: Schocken Books. 1983). 150, has 

a rendering of a shepherd's hut. 

-' Robert Perry, Sheep Kiiii;: The Sum- i>l Robert Taylor (Grand 

Island: Prairie Pioneer Press. 1986). 19. 27. Taylor's v\agon was 

crowded: "Bill Hogg, my foreman, the herder, and myself live m it." 

-^ The Coaeli Painter 1880. (New York: Museum at Stony Brook, 
reprinted from the Carriage Reference Library. 1983). 10. 



^"\'oming Histoiy Journal 

Henderson HutY. daughter of James Henderson who built 
sheepwagons in Buffalo during the 1920s, recalled that 
man\- people lived in gypsy wagons in her native state of 
Alabama, where the Henderson family resided in the early 
1900s.^" 

Yet another example will illustrate that the idea of a 
small covered wagon, with windows and a stove predates 
the "invention" of the wagon by James Candlish. In her 
book M\ Army Life On The Plains. Mrs. Frances Carrington 
described a trip made from Fort Phil Kearny. Wyoming, to 
Omaha. Nebraska in January 1867. one month after the 
Fetterman Massacre. The women and children from the 
fort made this perilous journey, through hostile Indian 
territory during a raging blizzard, in a wagon she described 
in some detail and called "my traveling house." 

Genera! George B. Dandy fitted up the army wagons 
in w hich they were to tra\el 

in a manner that prosed our very salvation on such 
a journey. . . It was a novel caravan indeed. The 
wagon covers of cloth were first doubled, and both 
sides and ends of the wagon bodies were boarded 
up, with a window in each end. A door at the back 
of each wagon swung on hinges to admit of easy 
ingress and egress, and near the door was a small 
sheet iron stove made from stove-pipe, with a 
carefully adjusted smoke escape through the wagon- 
co\er aboxe. . . "The best modern kitchen-range 
could not secure as far reachmg results as our little 
sheet-iron stoves." 

Rans Baker, a contemporary Rawlins historian, has 
a theory about the "invention" of the sheepwagon in 
Wyoming that links together men like blacksmiths James 
Candlish and Frank George, Rawlins sheepranchers George 
Ferris and William Daley, and the military wagons. Ac- 
cording to Baker, the Army ambulance, the enclosed 
wagon that served Mrs. Carrington and the entourage from 
Fort Phil Kearny, was commonly used for all types of 
conveyance on the western military frontier during the 
period following the Civil War. Both Candlish and George, 
as military blacksmiths in Wyoming, would have been 
familiar with the army ambulance as well as the many 
varieties of wagons used at that time.-' 

Since Candlish worked for the Union Pacific Rail- 
road at Omaha in 1867, he could possibly have been an 
observer on that day the entourage arrived from Fort Phil 
Kearny, which was undoubtedly an occasion as word of the 
Fetterman Massacre spread across the United States. If 
Candlish were there, surely he would have been among the 



curious who watched the entourage arrive and perha] 
noted their mode of conveyance. Candlish could ha\ j 
remembered this "traveling home" and borrowed some ( ' 
its features for his "home on wheels" sixteen years late | 

Similarly, blacksmith Frank George was employe ' 
at Fort Fetterman during the late 1870s and early 1880: 
As the army ambulance was a common vehicle on tl! 
military frontier, George also could have adapted some ( ! 
the details to a new type of agricultural wagon. 

One must also remember the importance of freigh ' 
ing in a state such as Wyoming during the late nineteen 
century. Goods were shipped to the west by railroad, bi j 
then had to be hauled hundreds of miles into the burgeoi i 
ing settlements of the interior. A blacksmith of the tin i 
would have seen and worked on numerous types of wa; ( 
ons, including military and freight wagons, stage coache 
as well as the more refined wagons used by townsfolk. 

A number of people have noted the striking simila 
ity between the interior of a sheepwagon and a sailiri 
vessel, which also served as a compact housing unit. Raul 
Baker tells of two old sheepherders in the Rawlins are • 
both former .sailors, who finally felt at home herding shee j 
on the Red Desert, which they described "like being on i 
dry sea." The similarities of a boat's cabin to the interior i ; 
a sheepwagon are remarkable. Both have well-designe.i 
storage places. Many pleasure boats have benches ci 
either side of the main cabin that open to contain still moi 
storage. Compact beds are tucked away under the bo\ 
Tables fold down when not in use. Everything has its plac , 
in a boat as in a sheepwagon. 

Prominent Rawlins sheeprancher, William Dale; 
who trained as a ship" s carpenter, provides another connei 
tion between the military, the sea, and the sheepwago 
Daley worked at Fort Phil Kearny during its brief existenci 
and built the flagpole there that is so like a ship's mast. N 
doubt, he saw the rigged-up Army ambulance that carrief 
the women and children safely to Omaha and may have hi 
a hand in the conversion of it. Daley settled in Rawlii 
during the 1 870s and could have had some influence on tl 
early interior design of the wagon.-" 

By the end of the 19th century, sheepwagons wei 
part and parcel of the sheep industry. According to varioi 

-interview of V. Huff. 199.^. 

-' Frances C. Carrington. A-Zv Army Life and the Fort Phil Kearny 

Massacre (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippineott Co.. 1910). 181-82. 185. 

-'Richard Dunlop. Wlieels West. /590-/ 900 (Chicago: Rand 

McNally & Co.. 1977). 96-100. 

-"The Hag pole incident was recounted in Carrington. My Army 

Life, pp.109-16; William W. Daley Collection. #1400. Box #1. 

American Heritage Center. University of Wyoming. Laramie. 



:riimmer 



I gQ: 



urces, blacksmith Marshall Buxton, employed by the 
■hulte Hardware Company of Casper, improved upon the 
rly sheepwagon design of James Candlish around this 
ne. Buxton is credited with standardizing the wagon and 
acing it on a heavier running gear, manufactured by the 
rin Wagon Company of Kenosha, Wisconsin. He per- 
.ps added the double door, the benches, the rear window 
lOve the bed, and additional storage." 

If a rancher wanted a sheepwagon. he had a number 
alternatives. He could build one himself as some ranch- 
s did in the early days and continued to do well into the 
>40s. Bill Taliaferro, a SvveetvvaterCounty sheep rancher, 
called that his uncle. Thomas Seddon Taliaferro. Ill, 
adeanumberof the family's fifteen sheepwagons during 
e 1930s. Tri-State Lumber Company of Rock Springs 
ade at least one Taliaferro wagon from a design supplied 
' this same uncle." 

A rancher could also order a sheepwagon from a 
agon company catalogue, such as the one issued by 
udebaker Brothers Company of South Bend, Indiana, a 
mous manufacturer of all types of wagons. By 1902. the 
impany produced a sheepwagon. called the sheep camp 
d." a model that remained virtually unchanged ten years 
ter in the 1912 catalogue. The Studebaker sheepwagon 
easured 1 1 feet long and 6 feet 3 inches w ide. It had five 
)ws. a three and one-half foot wide bed. a rear window. 



a table that pulled out from under the bed. and a mess box 
to the left of the bed. 

Studebaker's version of the sheepwagon included an 
unusual feature, a "brake lever is made to work from inside 
of the bed." The cost for this feature was an additional $8. 
The wagon sold for $ 1 1 0, or $95 without the canvas cover, 
the price including the bed. bows and ridge poles. The 
running gear ran an additional $122. In 1902. a buyer paid 
extra for "bunk boards, table, canvas cover." By 191 2. the 
base price included a "double cover, additional mess 
boxes, racks, etc., according to specifications." 

The company also sold an assortment of running 
gears for the sheepwagons featured in their catalogues. 
Advertisements stated "the 'sheep camp' bed is generally 
used on a 2-1/2 or 2-3/4 Gear, but can be used on any size 
Gear desired." A buyer could choose from the catalogue 
such running gear as the "General Teaming Gear," the 

'" Sources iiickide: Wfiitworlh. Aiiicricii's Slieep Trails. 4()4-4(),s; 
Georgetta. GcUU'ii Flccre in NfVtuhi. 74-81. Again, the original 
source appears to have been Agnes Wright .Spring's 1940 article In 
Wyoiuiiii; Slockiiiiiii-Fiiniiei-. where she dated the Buxton modifica- 
tions to the year 1402. which became 1S42 in later sources. An 
article about the Sclniile Hardware Coinpain in the Cinpcr 
Tiihiiiic-Hci'cilil ciihl Sicir. No\ I I. 1456. dales Buxton's in\ol\e- 
mcnt to the early 1400s. rather than the 1 X40s date of Wentworth 
and Georgetta. 
" Interview of B, Taliaterro. 1444. 



le interior of a sheep 
igon had "all the 
mforts of home. " 



arles Belden photograph. 
Asion of Cultural Resources, 
te of Wyoniins; 




■ 



Wvomin^ Histoiy Journal 



Mountain flfi. PUin R.i-.Mjy Mi»«l Paint, 
Rock KLutd Plow^ 



MUwaukM' Hay Machinery 
Wiriona Wagons 



A. ®y A. C. RICE 

ALL KINDS OF BUELDINC MATERIAL 

HARDWARE AND LUMBER 

Wagons, Implements I Farm Machinery 




WE ARE raEPARED TO HANDLE ALL 
KINDS OF SPECIAL MILL WORK. PLAN- 
ING. ODD SI2E SASH, DOOP.S AND 
SCREENS MADE PROMPTLY TO ORDER 




I. Cmm- Thrvtben onrf 
S(<-jm Ensbtev 



Blocksmithing 



HAiLOtDtk&norwn.'r lU-LXn 
YAUDS O riONT STKEIT 



Job Work 



C-alldhan Oasodnv En^nea 
£rlipM' Wmtbnills 



I III: ri,OKi:NCi; HARDWARK company is the Pioneer linj 

THEY CARRY AT ALL TiMES AN IMMENSE STOCK OF SHELE AND HEAVY H \RDWAIJi 

I 

I MITCHELL AND SCHLTT: ER WAGONS. LIGHT WAGONS AND BUGGIES. | I 

I i.i-M.tiir-..- .if I.N».-r> I >^;j4^rliiti. .n. I 

Eitt^sfvi-Blffltksmnh art4 Wa%cw, Shop in Connection. Where We Moke the Celebr«tp<d Florence Shec^ ^aS'l 



Advevtisemenis for locally-biiilt slieejm 

"Block Tongue Double Reach Gear" or the "Patent Truss 
Skein Stiff Tongue Low Wheel Clipped Gear."'- 

It is interesting to note that although the basic wagon 
shell was standard, Studebaker advertised their camps as 
"built to order," personalized according to the wishes of 
the buyer. This personalization, by both the builder and 
the buyer, was a hallmark of the versatile wagon, a 
tradition that continues even today with the few modern 
wagons sdll made. 

A curiosity of the sheepwagon for which no defini- 
tive source can be found is the use of the term "sheep 
camp" rather than sheepwagon. Sheep camp seems to be 
a term commonly used in southwestern Wyoming as well 
as parts of the Big Horn Basin. In other areas of the state, 
sheepwagon is the accepted term. One can speculate that 
perhaps the term "camp" was a Utah influence, possibly 
of Mormon origin. In Utah, also a large sheep producing 
state, the wagon is commonly referred to as a "camp" and 
the modern day manufacturers of the wagons still refer to 
them as such. 

The term "camp" may also be a holdover from the 
early days before the widespread use of the sheepwagon, 
when the herder slept on the ground or in a tent. Neverthe- 
less, it is worth noting that as early as 1902, the Studebaker 
Company referred to their sheepwagon as a "camp." 
However, it is also curious that in an ad for the Montpelier, 
Idaho, branch of the Studebaker Company, which ap- 
peared in 1906-07, the term "sheep wagon" rather than 
camp was used by the same company," 



agons. Bill Barlow's Budget. Douglas, 1907. '. 

Studebaker used two colors: green for the wago| 
box, red on the running gears.'" This color combinatio 
persists in the restored wagons of today and appears t j 
have been the most popular. Other sheepwagon maker , 
such as A. & A. C. Rice Company of Douglas, painted ;) 
least some of their wagon boxes blue, with vermillio, 
running gears and bright yellow pinstripes. The Ricij 
Company also numbered their wagons. Tom Lindmeiee 
superintendent of South Pass City, bought Rice wagon #(* 
mountedonthe Minnesota-manufactured Winona runnint] 
gears." 

Perhaps the most common way of obtaining 
sheepwagon in Wyoming was to go to the local blacW 
smith; every town had at least one.'" 

Advertisements for sheepwagon builders first api 
peared in the Wyoming State Business Directory in th 
early years of the twentieth century . The 1 904-05 director 
included ads for Cody blacksmith, G. McLaughlin. "Buildt I 

■'-Studebaker Brothers Catalogue No. 215. ( 1902). 215; Catalogue 
No. 604. (1912). 41. 55. 94. 

" Wyoming Slate Business Directory, 1906-1907 (Denver: The 
Gazetteer Publishing Co.. 1906). 613. The 1908-09 Directory lists 
this company's address as Afton, 'Wyoming. 
'■* Dunlop. 'Wheels "West, p. 172. 

" Telephone interview of Tom Lindmeier, March 19, 1993. 'Vem 
■Vivion recalled that the wagons of Leo Sheep Company and Rock 
Mountain Sheep Company were mounted on 'Winona running gear 
'" Wyoming State Business Director,: 1906-07. 514-15. listed 111 
blacksmiths; the 1920 edition of the Directory, 526-27, listed 122 
blacksmiths. 



10 



i 



runiniLT 



1<-W5 



f Sheep Wagons." The same directory also listed two 
ames under the heading "Sheep Wagon Manufacturers": 
/IcGrath & Jones of Casper and D. V. Bayne of 
'hermopolis."' 

The 1908-09 Business Directories included ads for 
'ther builders of the wagons: "J. C. Jacobsen, Builder of 
Iheep Wagons To Order" from Cokeville; Cody's H. H. 
;chwoob who advertised "Sheep Wagons. Wagons and 
iuggies Built to Order"; and F. L. Belcher of Wheatland. 
Manufacturer of the Belcher Sheep Wagon. Give Me a 
Yial." Ads such as these appeared in the directories until 
920. •» 

Sheepwagon builders also ad\ertised in local news- 
apers. The two rival builders in Douglas, the previously 
lentioned Florence Hardware Company and the A. and A. 
'. Rice Company, both placed ads in the Doiii^Ius Budget 
maturing pictures of the type of sheepwagon each com- 
any built.'" 

The building of sheepwagons by a local blacksmith. 
1 many cases, probably involved a team effort. The 
rocess could include men with different specialties such 
sawagonwright and a blacksmith. Rans Baker described 
le process that a typical Rawiins-built sheep wagon went 
irough. Blacksmith Jim Sorenson. who was trained as a 
team mechanic, did the metal work on the wagon; Charley 
ahnson. a wagonvvright by profession, built the wooden 

wheels and the bo.\. 
Or the running gears 
could be purchased 
separately from the 
Bain or Studebaker 
Companies. The local 
hardware store stocked 
the small Handy 71 4L 
or 816L woodstove. 
popular models often 
installed in 

sheepwagons.'" 

Johnson County 
ranchers have fond 
memories of their 
sheepwagon builder. 
Buffalo blacksmith 
Elmer Huff. They 
speak of the Huff 
.sheepwagons with rev- 
erence. They were so 
well-built that many 
are intact and still in 




Elmer Huff. Buffalo 
sheepwagon builder. 

Photo courte^N of 
Annette Huff Franco\ Ic 



use today. Huff arrived in Buffalo around 1930. and may 
have learned to build sheepwagons from his father-in-law. 
James Henderson, a blacksmith and wagon builder ui 
Buffalo during the 1920s. Together. Henderson cuid Huff 
operated the Buffalo Forge Company, until Huff bought 
the business in the early I93()s and continued as a black- 
smith until his death in 1461.-" 

Basque sheeprancher. Grayce Esponda Miller, paid a 
moving tribute to Elmer Huff in the obituary she wrote: 
"He was a true artist with tools.... Even the prairies are 
dotted u ith memories of the deceased as most all of the 
sheepwagons in this area were built by Mr. Huff, or his 
predecessor and late father-in-law Jim Henderson."' 

Huff built sheepwagons for u.ses other than ranching, 
such as the wagon at St. Joseph's Orphanage in Torrington 
and the Girl Scout wagon in Cheyenne, the interior fitted 
for office use. Huff also built fi\'e or si.\ specialty wagons 
in the 1950s, locally referred to as "honeymoon uagons." 
Larger than the standard sheepwagon. the> measured 
about 14 feet long and nearly 7 feet wide. Thev were 
unusual in that, although they retained the traditional 
sheepwagon 'iovm. Huff buih them directly for a rubber- 
tired chassis. Some had heated tloors. Sheep ranchers, 
possibly influenced by their wives, commissioned Huff to 
build these deluxe models, which the ranch couple, and 
perhaps some of their children. Ii\ed in during summers m 
the Big Horn Mountains.' 

Huff did not invent this "honeymoon" genre, how- 
ever. The Old West Museum in Cheyenne has a hone\- 
moon wagon, a gift of the Etchepare family. This w agon, 
built in the 1920s for the Warren Li\estock Company, is 
close to 14 feet long and 7 feet wide. According to some 
sources, there was a reason w h_\ the standard sheepw agon 



" \\'\omwii Slate Business Dirccliirx. 1^114-05 (Dcii\cr:Ttic 

Gazetteer Publishing Co., 1^04). 172. .s72 

'^ Wyoming State Business Direetan. lyi)S-{)Q ([:)en\er Tlic 

Gazetteer Publishing Co.. 14(),S|, pp l,S'». 147.424. The 1420- 

1435 Business Directories cont.uncd no hsimgs or .ids lor 

sheepwagon builders. 

'" Bill Barlow's Budget. Anniversary Edition, 1407, 

*','\lthough other stoves were used, the Handy is the one most often 

seen in old wagons. Ranchers still ra\e about the Hand) stove. 

although one herder recalled the Handy stove as anything but 

"handv." Interview of .Simon Iberlin. Buflalo. July 12, I49.i; 

Interview of Tnsh Teeterman Turk, Douglas, November 14, 1993. 

" Interview of V. Huff. 1943; Interview of .Annette Huff Francos ic. 

Butfalo. October 17. 1993. 

''Buffalo Bulletin. April. 1961. 

'Interview of Florence Urizaga Cammo, Bullalo. October 16. 

1493. Interviews of V. HutTand A. Francovic. 1443. 



11 



1 



^\"voming Histoiy Journal 

measured no more than 1 2 feet long. A longer wagon 
proved inefficient in rough country and often "tore apart."" 

It is not surprising that by 1910. sheepwagons were 
being built in all parts of the state, for Wyoming stock 
sheep numbered approximately 5-1/2 million, the peak 
year for sheep numbers in the state. ^' Carbon County, 
which includes Raw lins. boasted of being the largest sheep 
producing county in the world at this time.* 

A large sheep ranch operation might have as many as 
thirty wagons, the number used by the Warren Livestock 
Company of Cheyenne for years. Warren kept two En- 
glish-born blacksmiths employed full-time during the 
1920s and 1930s. Their job included building and repair- 
ing sheepwagons.^" The Blair and Hay outfit of Rock 
Springs used fifteen or sixteen sheepwagons for a long 
time, as did the Taliaferro ranch in Sweetwater County." 

If one calculates that each herder and wagon had 
charge of 1 .000 to 2.500 sheep (depending on the season), 
one can extrapolate that during the golden years of the 
Wyoming sheep industry, there may have been 2200 
sheepwagons in the state. The exact number of sheepwagons 
used during the heyday will never be known but longtime 
ranchers talk of a "wagon on e\ery knob" of the winter 
range and remember seeing many herders and wagons 
gathered at the foot of the summer mountain range, waiting 
their turn on the sheep trail. ■''' 

Although many sheepherders were hard-working, 
sober family men. a drunken loner is one stereotypical 
image of the herder. It is true that some of the early herders 
were men escaping their past, who took to the bottle at 
every opportunity. Third-generation Sweetwater County 
sheep rancher. Bill TaliafeiTO. remembers that his family 
never supplied vanilla or lemon extract to their herders 
because they drank it. He also recalled that many of the 
herders his family used were Mormon men from Utah, 
who did indeed have a drinking problem, and had been 
ostracized by their families and the strict Mormon society. 

Taliaferro also spoke of a "social network" that 
existed among the Sweetwater County ranchers, doctors, 
bartenders, and flop house owners during the 1940s and 
1950s. If the herder was on a spree in town, the people in 
the informal network notified the rancher, who took charge 
of drying the man out and putting him back to work on the 
range a few weeks later.'" 

Another stereotype is that all herders were Basque, 
from the Pyrenees Mountains of Spain or France. While 
it is true that many Basque herders worked in lohnson 
County at one time, other areas of Wyoming had different 



12 



ethnic traditions, often directly related to the nationality cl 
the rancher. 

Like the Basques of Johnson County, the firsl) 
generation Irish sheep ranchers of Natrona County im 
ported herders from their native country. Irish-born me 
such as Patrick Sullivan and Mickey Burke establishei- 
their sheep ranches in central Wyoming, then sent fo 
herders from the old country. The Ellis family, present-da- 
sheep ranchers in the Casper area, got their start in Wyo 
ming by working for an uncle, sheep rancherTim Mahoney 
who paid their passage from County Cork, Ireland. Thesi 
men. in turn, became ranchers and continued the traditioi 
of recruiting herders from their native land." 

Nineteenth-century Wyoming sheepman. Rober 
Taylor, a native of Scotland, provided jobs for his fellov 
countrymen, who began as herders, progressed to partners i 
and eventually established their own successful sheeu 
outfits. Wyoming sheepranchers W. T. Hogg (Taylor':! 
brother-in-law ). Robert Grieve. George Taylor ( nephew o 
Robert ). and brothers Richard and David Young are amon<i 
those Scots who received their start from Taylor.'- 

The Scottish-born ranchers of Campbell and John 
son Counties did much the same thing with their relative; 
or men from their home land. In The Heart Is Highland 
author Vivian Innes Letson described this close-knit Scot 
tish sheep ranching community in the early 1900s." 

« Interview B. Taliaferro. Feb. 1994. 

■" Wyoming Agricultural Stati.stics. p. 17. 

* Although no source was found for this claim, it was repeated to 
the author by a number of Carbon County sheep ranchers. A 
possible explanation for the boast may found in: John Mahoney. 
Fort Steele State Historic Site (Cheyenne: Wyoming Recreation 
Commission, January 1990), 15. From 1905-10. Walcott Junction, 
located in Carbon County, was the busiest railroad loading point 
between Otnaha, Neb., and Ogden, Utah. Besides inining equip- 
ment and smelter products, freight shipped from Walcott in 1905 
included 800.000 pounds of wool to Boston, the largest single 
shipment ever produced in Wyoming. 

47 Interview. Walter "Spud" Murphy. Cheyenne. July 2. 1994. 
Murphy was born and reared at the Warren Livestock Company's 
Terry Ranch, where his father was a foreman. As a child, he 
remembered watching the two English blacksmiths, Tom Wilcox 
and Tom Tripp, build sheepwagons. 

* Interview of Leonard Hay. Rock Springs. February 23, 1994; 
Interview of B. Taliaferro. 1994. 

-''' Interview of B. Taliaferro, 1993; Interview of L. Hay, 1993. 

■"' Interview, B. Taliaferro, 1993. 

" Casper Star-Tribune, November 5. 1980; Wyoming Wool 

Grower. June 1990, 16. 

'- Wentworth, America's Sheep Trails, 327. 

'' Vivian Innes Letson, The Heart Is Higliland: A True Stoiy of 

Scots in Early Wyoming (n.p.. 1990). 



■Lunmer 1 '-)'-^0 



I 



»»- 



>^^ 



<*^ 



%':■ 









h- vT -r • . ■ 



^*^... 



■'>>,. 



r^' 






\hovc) }'(>uiii; Pete Turk takes n Initli in slight of the 
inii/y'.s sheep\\(i^i;(i/i in tlie Bi<^ Hern Moiintniiis. PUS. 
\bove. riiiht) Brookie. Louise and Vivian Turk at tlieir 
'leep eainp in the Bii^ Horn Mountains. 1941. Botli 
hotoi^raphs eourtesy of Louise Turk 

A different tradition existed in southern Wyoming 
here many ranchers emplo\ed Hispanic herders from 
lew Mexico or southern Colorado. Herding foraparlicu- 
ir Wyoming sheep rancher often became a famil\ iradi- 
on. as a man introduced his son or brother into the 
usiness. A nuiuberof these Hispanic families eventually 
.ntled m the towns along the Union Pacific in the early 
9th century. Today, people of Hispanic origin in these 
)wns can recall stories told to them by their fathers or 
randfathers about their sheepherding days.'" 

A number of ranchers related superstitions that de- 
eloped among the early herders. Some herders refused to 
ay in the sheepwagon if it faced any direction other than 
mtheast when they looked out the door. If the wagon was 
irked with the door at the southeast, then one al w ays slept 
ith one"s head facing north. If the feet faced north, rather 
lan the head, it was a sign of death and burial.' 

Practical reasons also dictated placing the wagon in 
certain direction. The door usually faced southeast 
,'cause of the prevailing winds. Meat was often stored on 
e right side of the wagon (the north side if parked 
orrectly") where it stayed cool. Sour dough placed near 




the stove remained warm. Bacon grease rubbed on the end 
of the wagcMT tongue protected the wagon from lightning 
storms o( summer. ' 

Herdmg was not |ust a male profession. Women w ere 
also sheepherders. both historically and in contemporary 
tunes. Louise Turk, of Sussex, began working for the 
Meike Ranch as a shcepherdcr in 1M4(). She got into the 
business when she married one o\ the Meike herders. 
Brookie Turk. For years, Louise and Brookie lived in a 
sheepwagon every summer in the Big Horn Mountains 
with their children. Fourteen years after her husband's 
death, seventy-three-year-old Louise still spends summers 
in a sheepwagon parked on the mountain range, fixing 
fence and tending the Meike sheep and cattle.' 

Trish Teeterman Turk, of .lohiison County, spent ten 
years herding sheep in the Big Horn Mountains and Basin. 

'MnlcTMCw ol Ann Esquihcl Redman. Clicyennc. Ma\ .s. 144.^; 

InteiMcw o\ V. ViMon. I'^»4: Intcr\ic\\ of L. Ha\ . 1444. 

"Intcr\ie\vs of Jerry Pike .md Cleo Corkill. Pouder Ri\er. .Iuf\ 17. 

144.^. 

'" Interview otD. Meikc. 1443; Imei\ie\\s ot J. Pike and C. 

Gorki n. 144.V 

'' Interview ol Louise Turk. Big Horn Mountains. Sept. .''. 1444. 



13 



\('voming Histoiy Journal 

Her home was a sheepwagon. A young woman, Trish got 
into the herding business after she lost her office job in the 
bust of the early 1980s. Trish believes that women make 
better herders because of their nurturing instinct with the 
sheep and dogs. She also stated that women herders, as a 
rule, do not drink and are cleaner than male herders. Bill 
Taliaferro mentioned that his uncle talked of hiring Navajo 
women, the traditional tribal herders, to come work for 
him in the 1940s.^'< 

The few herders on the Wyoming range today are 
mostly foreign-born men from such countries as Peru, 
Mexico, or even China. One rancher spoke of hiring a man 
from Tibet. As a herder, this man would have no trouble 
adjusting to the highest altitudes of the summer range in 
the Wind Rivers.'" Wyoming ranchers procure their herd- 
ers from two companies: Western Range in California and 
Mountain Plains in Casper. The foreign herder usually 
contracts to work in this country for three years, then 
returns to his homeland."" 

It may come as a surprise to some that families also 
lived in sheepwagons. Historic photos show women and 
babies in the wagons whose interiors exhibit a "woman's 
touch": curtains at the windows, silver and china neatly 
stacked on shelves, knick-knacks and pictures on display. 
In the early days, the sheep rancher just starting out often 
did his own herding. A wife and a child or two might live 
in the sheepwagon with him until the ranch became more 
profitable and his family 
moved to a more permanent 
location, usually in town. 

Other people lived in 
sheepwagons for reasons un- 
related to sheep herding, es- 
pecially during the depres- 
sion years. When Bill Norton 
attended Douglas High 
School in the late 1920s, his 
father moved a sheepwagon 
onto a vacant lot in town that 
became Norton's home while 
he was a student. Norton re- 
membered transient cowboys 
staying in one of his father's 
sheepwagon for a night or 
two before they moved on.' ' 

Sheepwagons proved a 
popular home for school 
teachers during the 1930s. In 
an article written for the Wyo- 



ming Rural Electric News, author Jessie A. Bryant recallei 
that she lived in a sheepwagon as a baby with her mothei 
who taught school near Saratoga."- Zella Pelloux Slaytoi i 
of Buffalo found employment as a school teacher in rura! 
Johnson County in 1 940. Shortly after beginning her nev 
job, the teacherage burned to the ground. Slayton's father 
sheep rancher Martin Pelloux, gave her the sheepwagoi 
she lived in for the next 2-1/2 years while she taught."' 

Similarly, Pauline Peyton of Douglas agreed to be 
come the teacher at the rural North Point School ii 
Converse County "if she had a sheepwagon." A loca 
rancher obliged and Peyton lived in a sheepwagon for ;, 
school year, parked next to the one-room schoolhouse 
Peyton's sheepwagon even served as a temporary schoo 
building for the five pupils until a skunk that had set up hi 
home in the schoolhouse was run off."^ 

■^ Interview of T. Turk. 1993; Interview of B. Taliaferro. 1994. 

"" Interview of John Arambel, Rock Springs. April 15. 1994. 

"" Telephone interview of Larry Garro. Western Range Associationi 

Feb. 7. 1994; Interview of B. Taliaferro. 1994. 

"' Interview. B. Norton. 199.^. 

"- Jessie A. Bryant. "Wagon was home to the herder." Wvoniing 

Rural Electric News (June 1980), 5-6. 

"' Interview of Z. Slayton. 1993. 

"■• Interview by Pauline Peyton, Douglas. Nov, 14. 1993. The story ; 
is also related in Pages From Converse County's Past (Heritage 
Book Coinmittee. Wyoming Pioneer Association, 1986). 725-26. 




Turk family sheepwagon 
belonging to Fred Lohse 



with wooden wheels next to a wagon with rubber tires 
Photograph courtesy of Louise Turk 



14 



cummer 



I ^N: 



Historic photographs show the versatile sheepvvagon 
being used in a variety of settings. A photo from the teens 
or early 192()s shows heavy equipment being freighted to 
the Salt Creek Oil fields with a sheepvvagon bringing up 
the rear of the cargo. Perhaps the wagon served as tempo- 
rary housing for those working in the oil field." 

A similar photo of a wagon train laden u ilh wool 
sacks includes a sheepwagon at the rear, no doubt used as 
overnight lodging for the freighter in a journey that could 
take four or fi\e days in the era before the railroad reached 
the interior of Wyoming."" A photograph of a Civilian 
Conser\ ation Corps crew at work on a roadbed features the 
.inmistakable shape t)f a sheepwagon m the background, 
ahich appeared to be used as mobile storage for equip- 
■nent.'" 

Many people, both men and women, have fond 
nemories of their time spent living in a sheepwagon. 
estaments to the practicality of the compact unit. Perhaps 
here was something comforting to life in a small 6-1/2 \ 
11-1/2 foot space, which contained all one needed to 
iurvi\e. It is certainly a stripped-down existence, but one 
hat has merit for its very simplicity. A story told by 
iheepherder Louise Turk illustrates the durability of this 
'oik form of architecture. 

During World War II. husband and wife sheepherd- 
;rs. Louise and Brookie Turk, left their ranching life in 
lohnsonCounlx. Wxoming.and followed Louise's famil\ 
o Seattle, where Brookie found work in the defense 
ndustry. After living with her parents for awhile, the 
furks decided ti^ binid "a small shack" of their own. 

Someone nearb\ had lorn down a huilding. so we 
bought enough scrap material to build our 'house.' 
When we finished building, we had soniething that 
was a cross between a sheepwagon and a present- 
da\ camp trailer w iihoiit wheels. One end had a 
built-in bed with a table that pulled out from under 
it. just like a sheepwagon... A big bin v\ith a hinged 
lid served as seating on one side of the table, and 
Brookie built a bench for the other side. At the 
other end of the house were bunk beds for the kids, 
w ith closets at each end and drawers under the 
bottom bunk where they could keep their personal 
things.... We cooked and heated with a sheepwagon 
stove we'd had Harvey ship from Wyoming... We 
didn't have much room but I was happier than Fd 
been anywhere else we'd lived, probably because it 
seemed more like my wagon home in Wyoming."" 

The slow decline in the sheep industry began after 
Vorld War IL which had an enormous impact on the 




Three men pose at the haek chuir of a sheepwagon. The\ 
are. left to right. Joe PeUonx. Frank Roggero (an 
Italian sheepheriter). and Martin Pelloiix. Photo'^raph 
eourtesr of Zella Pellou.x Sla\ton 

agriculture business. Ranchers speak of the difficultv of 
finding good help after the war. as men left herding lor 
better payingjobs elsewhere. By the iy5()s. those ranchers 
with deeded land began to fence large tracts and leave the 
sheep untended. without a herder. This became possible 
due to better roads and the nuKierm/ation in equipment, 
especially the pick-up truck and four-wheel driv e vehicles 
introduced to the general public after the war. With a 
vehicle able to traverse Wyoming's rough terrain, it now 
became easier for a rancher to check his herd of sheep 
daily, if he wished. The \ ast lonely grazing areas, formerly 
accessible only by horse, gradually became less remote. 
Everyone interviewed by the author spoke of the enormous 
change in the mdiistrv following WW 11. 

As early as the 192()s. the .Ahlander Company of 
Provo. Utah, manufactured a moderni/ed version of the 
sheepwag(Mi. Know n b_v the name. "Home on the Range." 
and built specifically for rubber tires, the camps had flat 
bottoms and sides that allowed for more storage space. 
According to Utah historian Tom Carter, the Ahlander 
Company built .^OOO "Home on the Range" camps be- 
tween 1920 and 1976. when the firm closed.'" By 1940. 
Casper's Schulte Hardware Company also produced a 

"^ Wyoming .Slate Miisciini:Historic.il Research. Photo #42 

"" Wyoming State Museuni:Historieal Research. Pholo #ls25>-). 

"' Wyoming State Museum;Historical Research. WP.A File #.^SS; 

Tlie Gniziiiii Bidlelin 4. (April l^MI l. 

"^ Louise Turk, unpublished manuscript. 1994. 

"" Tom Carter. 'Home on the Rantze." 1979. 



15 



Wyoming History Journal 

modern version of the sheepwagon, which resembled 
Utah's "Home on the Range" camps. " 

In spite of the modern innovations in the wagon, 
many ranchers continued to use the traditional version of 
the wooden-wheeled sheepwagon. The transition to rubber 
tires was a slow one in Wyoming. Some ranchers first 
experimented with tractors as replacements for the teams 
of horses that pulled the wagon. This method proved 
inefficient because the iron that encased the wooden wheel 
ON'erheated if the tractor traveled above ten miles an hour. 

By the mid-1950s, after fifteen years of gradual 
transformation, most of the forty- or fifty-year-old 
sheepwagons still in use around the state had been re- 
mo\ ed from their original wooden running gear and placed 
on rubber-tired chassis, often salvaged from a Model T or 
A vehicle. The pick-up truck became the vehicle of choice 
to pull the converted sheepwagon between the summer and 
winter grazing areas. 

Elmer Huff, like many blacksmiths of the time, used 
a truck or car chassis to convert the sheepwagon to rubber 
wheels during the 1 950s. Huff's wife recalled the difficult 
time her husband had in tearing apart an old Chevy running 
gear and rebuilding it to fit the wagon, a job that took 
weeks. Huff also replaced the canvas tops with sheet metal 
and added a double-hung window to the side walls of older 
wagons, including many of those he built originally." 

Although no modern sheepwagons were manufac- 
tured in Wyoming after the Schulte Hardware Company 
ceased production in 1940, three sheepwagon companies 
operated in Utah during the 1970s. Wilson Camps. Inc., of 
Midway is the only one remaining today. It is a sixteen- 
year-old company made up of two generations of former 
sheepranchers. Father Emer Wilson and his two sons. 
Doyle and Mark. They produce three sizes of rubber-tired, 
customized wagons: 7' x 12'. 7' x 14'. and 7' x 16'. The 
wagons are priced from $8500 to $ 1 1 ,500 each, depending 
on options such as an additional roll-out bed. the solar, 
electrical and propane packages, and the water system. 
The company makes from fifteen to twenty-five wagons a 
year. 

Wilson Camps makes half of their wagons for non- 
agricultural uses. The federal government bought some of 
the camps to house trappers at a remote Utah experimental 
station. A National Park Service employee lived in a 
Wilson camp while guarding Indian artifacts from looters 
in southern Utah. Retired couples have purchased the 
camps and used them as travel trailers. '- 

That Wilson Camps, the sole commercial manufac- 
turer of sheepwagons in the Rocky Mountain region. 



16 



makes only 15 to 25 wagons a year, half of those for nor 
agricultural use, reflects the fact that the workir 
sheepwagon is just about obsolete. Like other Industrie 
the modernization of the business, ironically, has led to tl 
discarding of those traditional items once so crucial to tf 
initial success of the business, in this case the sheepwagc 
and herder which sustained the industry for so long. Othi 
factors, of course, come into play. 

The Wyoming sheep industry is at an all-time lo\ 
which the historical statistics reflect. The number ( 
Wyoming stock sheep peaked in 1910 at 5,480,000; fell i 
3.778,000 in 1940; 2,360,000 in 1960; and declined ai 
other 50 percent by 1980. The January 1, 1995, numbe 
of just 538,000 stock sheep in the entire state is the lowe 
count of the industry since the 1880 figures of 517.000. 

Obviously, the Wyoming sheep industry is threa 
ened more today than at any other time in its 120-ye; 
history. Faced with low prices for both wool and lamb, 
controversial predator control program, loss of the woi 
incentive and the hotly debated grazing reform, many thir 
and fourth generation sheep ranchers are considering bai 
ing out of the industry as others who saw the writing on tl 
wall have done over the past twenty years. When a ranch(i 
sells out. what also goes on the auction block are tf 
implements and tools related to the individual ranches am 
the industry. One of the most sought after of those item 
today is the sheepwagon. 

A cottage industry has developed in Wyoming an 
nearby states over the past five years. Individuals an 
buying sheepwagons and renovating them for high resai 
value. The restored, often totally rebuilt wagons wilp 
gleaming deluxe interiors, have been removed from thee 
original context. They have acquired a new function as' 
guest room, an office, a child's playroom, a decorative yai 
ornament, or an expensive piece of trendy western memfc 
rabilia for the wealthy. ^^ 

Other wagons are not restored, just abandoned at tl 
spot where they came to rest many years ago. From varioi 

'" Agnes Wright Spring, Wyoming Stockman-Fanner, 1940. 

■' Interviews of S. Iherlin. V. Huff, A. Francovic. 1993. 

'- Telephone Interview, Emer Wilson. July 6. 1994; Telephone 

Interview, Doyle Wilson by Feb. 13, 1995; Wilson Camps, Inc.. 

brochure, 1994. 

" Many thanks to Richard Coulter, State Statistician, Wyoming 

Agricultural Statistics, for help with interpretation of historic shet 

industry statistics. 

'■• Interview. John Burke. July 18. 1993; B. Norton. 1993; telephoi 

interview, Terry Baird, Nov. 10. 1994. Baird restores sheepwagor 

in Big Tiinber. Montana. His latest sheepwagon sold for $35,000. 

Actress Nicole Kidman gave it to her husband. Tom Cruise, for 

Christmas. 



L)g; 




















1 



Sheep sunoHudiHii a sheep ciiiiip. ,\'tilr(iiiii Coiiiilr. Heiiin Colleetion. Ciihunil Resmirees nnisian. Srnte nf Wyaiiiin;^ 



ocations along Interstate 80. one can see three or four 
jecaying sheepwagoiis on what was once a vibrant sheep 
andscape. The sheepwagon. for years the most recogniz- 
ible symbol of the sheep business, is becoming like the 
ndustry itself, an endangered species — a thing of the past. 

But the sheepwagon is so unique and original that the 
mage endures. The sheepwagon. once scorned b\ those 
outside of the industry, is being transformed, like the 
:owboy before it. into a romantic symbol of Wyoming and 
he Old West. It seems the further the working sheepwagon 
■ecedes into our past, the more popular it has become as an 
con. Sheepwagons pop up in many places — on a cafe 
5lacemat. as Christmas ornaments or mailboxes, on post- 
;ards and notecards. a logo for the Wyoming Wool 
jrowers. Old sheepwagons are being recycled for adver- 
ising purposes, as a novelty accommodation at a dude 
anch. in rodeo parades, as Welcome Wagons on the 
)utskirts of a small town, or an mformation booth at 
rheyenne Frontier Days. 

The sheepwagon was a common sight on the land- 
;cape of Wyoming and became so familiar that it has been 
)verlooked as an important part of the state's material 
:ulture. Entire books are devoted to artifacts of the cattle 
ndustry such as ranches, barbed wire. hats, boots, ropes, 
.addles; not so with the sheep business. Other than a few 
irticles every ten or fifteen years about the quaint 
iheepwagon or the lonely life of the rapidly disappearing 



sheepherder. no definitive histt)ry of the vsestcrn sheep 
business has been written since 1948/ 

But times are changing. In 1995. at least three 
museums m the state are focusing on the history of the 
Wyoming sheep industry. Each exhibit showcases a his- 
toric sheepwagon. Like an arrowhead that represents an 
earherculture and relates something of the historv of a time 
and place, maybe the sheepv\agon. as the most miportant 
cultural artifact and symbol of the historic sheep industrv. 
will serve a similar purpose, as a \ ehicle to tell the storv . 

^The last dctiniti\c historv ot the western sheep indiistrv uas 
Weiitworth's Aiinruii's Sluep TruiU. 



Author Nancy Weidel received a grant from the 
Wyoming Council for the Humanitie.s for independent 
re.search on the Wyoming sheepwagon. She is continu- 
ing her study of the historic sheep business and is 
writing a book about the subject. .As part of the 1995- 
96 Humanities Council Speakers Bureau, Weidel pre- 
sents a slide show/lecture about the Wyoming 
sheepwagon to various groups around the state. She 
has a masters degree in .American history and pres- 
ently works as a historian at the Wyoming State His- 
toric Preservation Office. 



17 



RniLROflD LRDI6S 




-J^i 



"Front Parlor. Mary Humphrey's. Cheyenne, c. 1900. Amon Caitti Museum. Fait Woith 



Prostitution in Laromie, UUyoming 1868-1900 

bi^ Carol Lee Bouuers 



Hunnicr 



1 <-)<-)5 



We may never succeed 
in finding out all that has 
happened in history but 
events matter and describing 
them as accurately as possible 
(although never with certain 
finality) can, at the very least 
show us whose foot has been 
on whose neck. 



^outh of the site where Laramie City- would spring from 
the Wyoming plains, there was Fort Sanders, a military 
outpost established in 1 866 to provide protection to wagon 
trains, the Overland Stage, local settlers, and later, workers 
laying track for the Union Pacific Railroad. Soon after the 
establishment of Fort Sanders, there was String Town, a 
cluster of squalid, makeshift shacks and tents huddled 
along the banks of what was then known as Elizabeth 
Creek a few miles north of the fort. There peddlers and 
gamblers and a few "cyprians" awaited the coming of the 
railroad, while providing the soldiers from Fort Sanders. 
and others who might straggle in. with the diversions that 
lonely soldiers have sought on leave throughout the course 
of history. With the coming of the railroad, the bustling 
end-of-tracks town of Laramie City would spread itself 
east of String Town, and another chapter in the settlement 
of the Rocky Mountain West would begin. 

Laramie City was platted by February, 1 868, and the 
Union Pacific Railroad began' selling lots soon afterward. 
By the time the first passenger train chugged its way into 
Laramie City on May 10. 1 868. the town had a population 
of more than two thousand persons.' The streets were 
crowded with lumberjacks, tie hacks, railroaders, soldiers. 
sheepherders. cowboys, ranchers, and other settlers. Men 
coming into town from the relative isolation of Fort Sand- 
ers, the open prairie and the surrounding mountains were 
eager for the excitement and companionship to be found in 
the Laramie City dance halls, saloons, gambling halls and 
brothels. These men had money to spend and Laramie City 



was teeming with ambitious entrepreneurs fiercely com- 
peting to relie\e them of it. Shoulder to shoulder and eye 
to eye with the men came certain members of the reputably 
gentler sex. The "fair but frail" public women. oLitcasts 
from the Cult of True Womanhood. |omed in the scramble 
to profit from the lucrati\e Laramie City market. Doxies 
and mollies, soiled doves and fallen angels, thev Hocked to 
Laramie City, hoping to share in the economic windfall of 
yet another Western boom town. The tragic, sordid reality 
ofthese women's experiences, however, was a far cry from 
the romanticized role they now occupy in the popular 
mythology of the American West. 

Some women came with men and entered Laramie 
City's vice district after being widowed or abandoned. 
Other women engaged in prostilulioii in Laramie City by 
choice, considering it easier and more profitable work than 
the drudgery of the few. low-paying domestic service iobs 
available to ihem. Some l.aramic prostitutes came singly, 
others arrived in groups. They came from Scotland. Den- 
mark, Germany. Ireland. Norway, and nearly e\ er\ slate in 
the Union. They were white, they were black, thev were 
mulatto, they were Asian. They ranged in age from iwehe 
to forty-three, though a few were far older." They lived and 
worked alone, in pairs, or in the larger community of a 
brothel. They stole, they drank, they smoked, thev braw led, 
and they cursed. They were blalanlly sexual m an age w hen 
women's sexuality was regarded as passionless and a 
"duty." They bore children, they obtained abortions, they 
contracted venereal diseases. They were alcoholics, ad- 
dicts, mothers, lovers and sometimes wives. They sold 
their bodies and their time and often, it would seem, their 
souls. ..and they frequently died - either by their ow n hand 
or someone else's. 

Prostitutes lived both inside and outside the commu- 
nity. They made significant contributions to the local 
economy, both voluntarily as consumers and iiu'olunlarily 
through the payment of fines and Ices imposed by the 
courts. Howe\ er. as social pariahs, prostitutes also lived, 
both literally and figuratively, on the social margins, 
usually in the designated vice district, also varuHisl\ know n 
as the red light district, the tenderloin, or the demimonde 
or "half-world." The exigencies of prostitutes' lives dic- 

' George Lipsil/, I'lnic Piissiii;c's: Collet livi- Mciiikix diul Aiiu rucin 

P(i/'»/<;r 0//?»(r (Minneapolis: LInnersiU olMinnesoUi Press, 

IWO). 214. 

' The name "Laramie Cily" was otTieiall\ sliorlened to "Lar.imie" in 

IS86. 

' Census of Wyoming Territory. [XM. 

' L'nited Slates Census. Laramie Citv. Wvominc, 187(1 ISSO. I>l()() 



19 



Wyoming Histoiy Journal 

tated that they circumvent laws and ordinances to carry on 
their "lively comrnerce." Alienated from the mainstream 
community, prostitutes" lives were shaped by codes of 
behavior, occupational hierarchies, and economic impera- 
tives unique to the deviant subculture of the demimonde. 

Many women entered prostitution hoping to achieve 
a degree of financial independence which would allow 
them to enjoy a higher standard of living than they could 
hope for through the subsistence wages earned by women 
laboring in menial domestic service jobs. Some women 
were able to earn enough to open their own "houses" or to 
invest in real estate or reputable business ventures.- The 
relatively few women who were able to achieve such 
economic and social empowerment did so through the 
exploitation of other women in the prostitution network. 
For most prostitutes, dreams of financial independence 
and a care-free "sporting life" were ultimately dashed as 
they encountered the harsh realities of financial exploita- 
tion by madams, pimps and civic authorities, physical and 
emotional abuse, chemical addiction, and disease. The 
individual agency which prostitution allowed women to 
exert over their lives was circumscribed by social alien- 
ation, impoverishment, and physical vulnerability. 

During the early boom phase of Western towns, when 
few ""good" women were present in the community, pros- 
titutes enjoyed a higher social status and greater commu- 
nity integration than in subsequent periods of a town's 
development. The arrival of greater numbers of respect- 
able women, the establishment of town governments, and 
the stabilization of the business community and labor force 
led to inevitable clashes between the Victorian moral 
ideology of the respectable population and the deviancy of 
the demimonde. Laramie City was no exception. Settle- 
ment patterns of Laramie City show that as the town 
matured prostitutes were increasingly forced into the so- 
cial margins in a clearly delineated, municipally regulated 
district." Additionally, prostitutes" invisibility and social 
alienation were intensified by social barriers and city 
ordinances which restricted their mobility within the com- 
munity. An example of such restrictions is an 1887 city 
ordinance forbidding prostitutes to "ride, drive or walk 
through the streets, except singly."^ While prostitutes often 
disregarded restrictive local ordinances, and appealed to 
the city council and the courts to remedy their grievances, 
they were seldom successful in improving their lot. 

Prostitution was regarded as a "necessary evil"" - an 
outlet for the release of men's sexual passions which, 
theoretically, could not be accommodated by ideally 
asexual, dutiful, respectable Victorian women. Prostitutes 



were intended to be used but not seen. Their interactions 
with and tolerance by the mainstream community were 
driven by economic considerations. Prostitutes were dis- 
cussed, censured, regulated and exploited, and had little 
voice in the political economy which dictated many of the 
conditions of their daily lives. 

Often poor and illiterate, prostitutes were frequently 
unable to generate first person accounts of their experi- 
ences. Due to the scarcity of such primary sources as 
personal diaries, letters, journals or photographs, the sto- 
ries of prostitutes" individual and collective experiences 
must be pieced together from such third person accounts as 
court dockets, newspaper articles, medical records, jail 
registers, probate papers, and coroner' s inquest transcripts. 
Such records, it should be remembered, were usually 
generated by men and often reflect a patriarchal perspec- 
tive. Paradoxically, it is through the absence of prostitutes" 
images that they become most visible, and through their 
silences that they speak with the strongest voice of exclu- 
sion, of misery, and of hopelessness. 

Today the brothels and hurdy-gurdies of early Laramie 
have vanished, but the railroad ladies who plied their trade 
on Laramie" s old Front Street still live in local legend. As 
we sift their stories from existing records and local folklore 
it is possible to brush the dust from the windowpane of time 
and take a backward glimpse at the realities of life in the 
demimonde of Laramie City, Wyoming. 

Laramie City and the Lively Commerce 

As the Union Pacific tracks neared the new railhead 
town of Laramie City, saloons, gambling halls, mercantiles, 
outfitters and brothels materialized almost overnight in 
tents or buildings thrown up haphazardly in the race to 
commence business. In the middle of the melee, on the 
southwest corner of what is now Ivinson Avenue and 
Second Street, stood Bull' s Big Tent, a nefarious establish- 
ment that moved to each railhead town as the Union Pacific 
pressed westward. Across the street and slightly farther 
south stood the Keystone Dance Hall, one of many smaller, 
but equally dingy pleasure palaces where men could dance 
with one of Laramie's lovelies for a small price, and 
undoubtedly, make arrangements for other types of enter- 
tainment as well. Respectable women, accompanied by 

* Discussion of the occupational culture of prostitution may be 
found in Anne Butler, Daughters of Joy, Sisters of Miseiy (Chicago: 
University of Illinois Press, 1987); and Ruth Rosen, The Lost 
Sisterhead {Ba.\\\moK: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982). 
" United States Census, Laramie City, Wyoming, 1870. 1880, 1900. 



20 



CMuniner 



I gi:)5 



their husbands, or other male escorts, also occasionally 
visited dance halls such as the Keystone for an afternoon or 
evening's diversion." Nevertheless, most of the women to 
be found in establishments such as the Keystone and Bull's 
Big Tent had clear ties to the vice community. 

Little is known about the scope of the amenities 
offered at the Keystone, but Bull's Big Tent had it all - 
gambling, liquor, music, dance hall girls, and medical care. 
Bull's Big Tent employed \\ omen of questionable virtue to 
dance with men and then lead them to the bar for a drink at 
the conclusion of every round. In addition, many of these 
women offered sexual services to the Big Tent's patrons. 
Bull's Big Tent was undeniably a full ser\ ice enterprise. 
The Frontier Index reported in late June I86(S that 

Dr. Allen. ..has opened an office in this cit\ and will 

devote special attention to 

surgery and to treatment ol' 

sexual diseases. Best ref- 
erences given at his office 

and consultation room at 

the rear of Bull's Big Tent. 

Cures L'uaranteed." 



W. O. Owen came to 
Laramie City in the early 
spring of 1868 as a child of 







t \"'^*NST015 







nine, living with his mother 
in a small house directly 
across the street from Bull's 
Big Tent. In his unpublished 
autobiography Owen re- 
called: Laramie, late 1860s. Ainer 
Nearly everything was tents in those days ...the largest 
one of these was known as the "Big Tent" and in it was 
every gambling device known to the fraternity. ..it was 
a hurdy-gurdy of the \'ilest sort. All day and night 
without cessation dancing w as in full swing, the women 
portion of the dancers being. ..camp followers who had 
followed the railway since its inception. It cost a man 
about ten dollars an hour to trip the light fantastic with 
those soiled doves, and if he had anything left they 
would drug him and strip him of everything of any 
value before kicking him into the street. ..Night and day 
we could hear the old familiar calls: ""Allemande left!" 
"Balance All!" "Grand right and left!" "Swing your 
partners!" "Promenade to the bar!" And at frequent 
intervals came the strident announcement of the Keno 
dealer. "Keno is Correct!"" 

Cyrus "Doc" Shores, a bullwhacker hauling railroad 
ies for the Union Pacific, also recorded his impressions of 
jarly Laramie City and its prostitutes in his memoirs. 



Laramie City was unc ot the hardest, toughest, and 
roughest towns when it w.is building up and the r.iil- 
road was building ihnuigh that was ever known in all 
the West. Congregated there. ..were. ..gamblers cit all 
kinds, and all the toughest robbing gambling games 
ever known were carried on in that tow n. I mm the game 
called 'Three Card Monte" down to one called T'nion 
Pacific Lottery'. ..and there were three big dance halls 
full of the toughest wdmeii I ever saw.. .We stopped ai 
Laramie |in 1868|. camping across the river. I remem- 
ber one day twenty-seven dance house women of all 
kinds came across the river on the bridge, all stripped, 
and two tough men with them, aiul ihev all went in 
swimming together in front ot our camp. .Some of the 
women were big old fat women. I thought at that time 
it was tlie worst sight 1 had ever seen.' 

.Soon after the raih'oad 
arrived in Laramie City, the 
Frontier Imlex hailed the 
opening of J. O.Chrisman's 
opulent Diana. Advertised 
as the "largest sporting 
house west of New ^drk." 
the Diana promised 
"anniscmcnts of every 
name and variety ...games 
and plav s. nuisic aiui tempt- 
ing luxuries, eatables and 
drinkables... in every nook 
and corner."'- The //;- 
clex article assured the pub- 
lic that the Diana was fur- 
iean Heritaiie Center photoiiraph 

nished 111 the most tasty Isic] and costiv manner" and was 
optimistically kniking forward to receiving "three thou- 
sand visitors." 

Excursionists and correspondents traveling to Laramie 
City to document the westward press of empire wei'c easy 
marks and fair game for prostitutes, and "greenhorn" 

Minutes ot Laianuc C'llv CduikiI. June 7. 1K87. 
" The occasional presence ot respectable women In establishments 
such as the Keystone is consistent w ith the suspension oi traditional 
social conventions and community integration common during the 
early formative days of many Western boom towns. 
" Fniiilicr linle.x. June 26. ISfiS. 

'" W. O. Owen, "Autobiography," 22. in W. O. Owen Papers. 
Accession No. 94. American Heritage Center. University of 
Wyoming. 

' "Helping Build The L'nion Pacific Railroad." 2, in Cvrus Shores 
Papers. Folder 4, Paper No. 42, W esiern History Collection. Denver 
Public Library. 
'- Frontier Index. June 26. 1868. 




21 



Wyoming History Journal 

objects of derision for the local male population. Many 
such correspondents were undoubtedly left with empty 
wallets and venereal disease as sad reminders of their 
adventures in the Wild West. In retaliation, one correspon- 
dent reported in his paper's columns that 

...Vice stalks its [Laramie City's] streets in daylight 
and revels in numerous haunts of dissipation when 
night adds horror to heart-sickening scenes of de- 
bauchery and licentiousness. Laramie has more dance 
houses of the "genus' vile than has Chicago. Every 
night these dens, which combine the occupations of 
rum-sellers, gamblers and harlots, are thrown open and 
are patronized. Gambling is carried on in full view of 
the streets, and the "tiger" is fought in every form from 
keno to faro to monte.. " 

The editor of the Index sneered at this article as the 
whining of a "brainless toothpick suckor [sic]" who got 
what he deserved after sampling Laramie's sinful plea- 
sures and "treating "fair and frail' girls to wine, whiskey 
and other beastly fodder."'" 

Early attempts to establish order through the creation 
of a town government met with the resignation of Mayor 
M. C. Brown after just three weeks. Brown stated in his 
letter of resignation that the town was ungovernable." 
After a second provisional government was organized in 
September, 1 868, a vigilance committee swept through the 



vice district. Several people were shot, several others* 
hanged. The vigilantes loaded a number of local prosti- 
tutes on train cars and shipped them west. "The vigilantes 
enlisted the assistance of "Doc" Shores and his partner Gus' 
the night of the raid. Shores and his companion were to) 
stand guard across the Little Laramie river to capture any^ 
local thugs who tried to escape. Shores recalled; 

These Vigilance men. ..did the hanging over in town. I 
don't remember how many, but I think three or four. 
One was the keeper of the Diana Dance Hall, a thin, 
nervous, skinny, high strung fellow.. .A man had been 
found behind his bar beaten nearly to death. ..Another 
man had been found dead in a big box under his old 
dance hall. One man. ..told the men that they were 
hanging better men than he was, and he turned and went 
back over and into the crowd, and he was pushed on in 
and hung too. I saw. ..and heard all I wanted. ..of this 
job, and Gus and I went back to the Little Laramie."" 
The effects of the vigilance committee were short- 
lived however, and soon the pleasure resorts of Laramie. 
City were in rip-snorting full swing once again. 

'■•Ibid. 

'-• Ibid. 

" Mary Kay Mason. Laraiiiie--Gei)i Cin (Dallas: Curtis Media 

Corp., 1987), 7. 

'" Ibid.. 6. 

'' Cyrus Shores Papers. 6-7. 




The Diana "sporting house. " Isberg Collection. American Heritage Center. University of Wyoming. 



00 



JJ 



I ^N5 



Laramie City continued to grow and permanent brick 
■'blocks" began to replace tlie tents and makeshift shacks in 
the business district. Toward the end of July IS6S Bull's 
Big Tent moved on. as did the Frontier Index. Arrixing in 
Green River. Wyoming, in mid-August 1868. the Index 
reported that the "mammoth tent is now ready for such 
carryings on as you never did see."" 

Bull's Big Tent and its soiled do\es might ha\e 
drifted on. but twenty-two year old Kate Boyd and twenty- 
seven year old Kate Allen shared a residence and did 
business as cottage prostitutes as Laramie City entered the 
bonanza phase of its development. Although these women 
were the only two clearly identified prostitutes in the 1 870 
Laramie City census, court dockets and newspaper reports 
provide evidence that numerous other prostitutes were also 
active in the town. The transient nature of these women's 
lives and the fact that man\' of them stro\ e for a measure of 
acceptance and protection in the community by referring lo 
themselves as ""housekeepers" or "seamstresses" often 
make them difficult to identify from census records alone. 

Life in the Tenderloin 

By 1870 Laramie City had begun to take on the 
characteristics of a corporate town reliant on the Union 
Pacific Railroad as its primary industry. The first fully 
legal town government was chartered in 1873 and took 
office in January 1874. The new city council spared no 
time in drafting ordinances which ga\e authoritati\e back- 
ing to attempts by local law enforcement to impose order 
and control residents of the demimonde. Within a rela- 
tively short time. Laramie City's tenderloin district was 
largely contained within the area bounded on the west and 
east by Front and Third Streets, on the north by what is now 
University Avenue, and on the south by Custer Avenue. 
Boundaries delineating residential and busmess districts 
became more clearly defined as did settlement patterns 
which separated white and non-white residential areas. 
However, within Laramie's demimonde, racial integration 
was more the rule than the exception. White prostitutes 
Bridget Gallagher and Bessie Knight were both known to 
live and work in the "black" vice district on the west side 
of town.'" Black prostitutes Susie Derrick. Annie Nelson 
and Myrtle Wright operated a sporting house at 603 First 
Street near the "white" vice district. Mulatto prostitutes 
Maria Summers. Kate Hart. Loesa Burton, and Fannie 
McManus also managed or worked in brothels in the white 
vice district.-" Loesa Burton's twenty-one-year-old son 
lohn and nine-year-old daughter Estetta also lived in 



Loesa's brothel. Census records reveal that Estetta was the 
only resident of her mother's establishment who could 
read or w rite. 

As a member of a highly compeliti\e occupalumal 
culture, a prostitute's status was contmgent upon her age, 
race, appearance, level of education and sophistici'.tion. 
sexual skills and place of employment. Prostitutes could 
move up or down within the professional hierarchy, al- 
though advancing age and occupatiitnal hazards usually 
precipitated a downward spiral. 

Parlor houses like "The Blonde's." operated by 
Laramie madam Christy Grover. iir the brothels which 
lined Laramie's Front Street v\'ere staffed by higher status 
prostitutes. Women in these establishments prov ided more 
than sex. They dressed relatively well, posses.sed greater 
poise and social acumen than other prostitutes and sold 
companionship as well as sex. For a fee. which usually 
included the price of at least one bottle of wine or liquor, 
a man could purchase the illusion of romance and the thrill 
of tlirtation before retiring to a bedroom for the main event. 

Some lower status prostitutes, such as Ada Hart, 
operated from modest private dwellings. Often these women 
also worked as seamstresses, laundresses, or at other forms 
of menial labor and supplemented their earnings through 
prostitution. Pretty "waiter girls" and dance hall girls otfen 
were compelled to sell sexual ser\ ices as a condition of 
their employment. It v\as not uncomnu'n for their em- 
ployer to confiscate a large percentage of their earnings. 

Lowest in the hierarchy were crib prostitutes and 
street hustlers. Some had pimps, but most w orked indepen- 
dently, providing sexual services to customers in the 
squalid tents, solitary rooms, or flimsy cribs where they 
lived. The poverty in which these women lived allowed 
them to exercise little discriminatiiMi with regard to the 
clients they accepted. Often lines would form outside their 
cribs or tents while they accommodated one man after the 
next, with each sexual encounter lasting only a few min- 
utes. 

As entrepreneurs interested in the profit margin, 
prostitutes were interested in efficient transactions and 
high customer tununer. Prostitutes sold sex. not Kne. It a 
man wanted the illusion of love he had to pay for it. The 
prostitute/client transaction involved money, drinks, sex 
and the man's departure in the shortest period of time 
possible. 

'" Frontier Iiuk'X. August 18. 186S. 

'" Uiramie Daily Sentinel. Sept. 12. 1871; tannine Weekly .Senlnnl. 

Feb. 1. ISW. 

-" United .States Census. Laramie City. Wyoming. 18811. 190(1. 

-' United Stales Census. Laramie City. Wyoming. 188(1. 



23 



\(Voming Histoiy Journal 

Working in a brothel or parlor house provided pros- 
titutes with a degree of protection from abuse by custom- 
ers. However the security and shelter of a brothel had its 
price. Prostitutes in brothels and parlor houses had high 
overhead expenses and a significant portion of their earn- 
ings were paid to the madam. 

From the money that she was able to earn or steal, a 
prostitute had to pay for housing, food, clothing, medical 
care, the liquor or drugs she desired for her personal use, 
and fines and fees imposed with discouraging regularity by 
the city and the courts. She also paid the required percent- 
age of her earnings to the madam of the brothel, or, in some 
cases, to the pimp who managed her. 

The financial records kept by Christy Grover clearly 
illustrate the kind of financial bondage which kept a 
woman immersed in prostitution.-- Although Christy's 
records do not indicate how much each customer was 
charged, they do show the gross earnings of each prostitute 
for each day of the month. Records of the earnings of 
Mamie Hall show entries for the months of September and 
October, year unknown, in which Mamie's daily earnings 
never exceed $12.50 for any given day. Mamie was re- 
quired to turn over all of her earnings to Christy, who then 
provided Mamie with spending money and other necessi- 
ties. Mamie's total earnings for the period between Sep- 
tember 22 and October 26 were $235. However, records 
for the period between September 22 and November 3 
show that Mamie's indebtedness to Christy included charges 
for room and board totalling $10 per week. Other debts 
included charges for washing, towels, ""tidies," personal 
hygiene supplies, clothing, lingerie, accessories, tickets, 
and unexplained ""express" services. In addition, Mamie 
was making installment payments to Christy for a $100 
watch, a $90 dress, a pair of diamond earrings which cost 
$275 and some bracelets valued at $75. During this period 
Christy allowed Mamie $22.40 for her personal use. but 
Mamie's total indebtedness to Christy during this time 
totalled $692.80, nearly three times the amount Mamie had 
earned in the corresponding period. 

Although Laramie City had no true parlor houses, 
"The Blonde's," later known as ""Grover' s Institute" was 
the closest substitute. Christy Grover, who was also 
variously known as Chrissy Branch, Dollie Bailley, Christy 
Finlayson, and Puss Newport, met and married a former 
Laramie City grocer, John Grover in 1881.-' Christy is 
believed to have been employed at Cheyenne's legendary 
""House of Mirrors" before coming to Laramie. Soon after 
arriving in Laramie. Christy built two houses on the site 
now occupied by Cafe Jacques and the Grand Avenue 



24 



Newstand. The larger of the two structures served as tht 
main brothel, while the smaller house was used primaril) 
as Christy and John's residence. 

Christy Grover's probate papers provide valuable 
information about the interior furnishings of ""The 
Blonde's."-^ Silk chairs and lounges, marble top tables 
chandeliers, fancy lamps, silver bric-a-brac, and an expen- ! 
sive piano graced the main parlor. Bedrooms were fur- 1 
nished with walnut and ebony furniture, carpets, fancy j 
lamps, and mirrors. The Grovers also employed a full-time : 
servant, an African- American man known as "Blue Dick,' : 
to perform the strong-arm work which was occasionally 
necessary. ""Blue Dick" also ran errands for the residents i 
of the brothel and their clients and worked as a genera,] 
handyman around the property.-' 

Bills submitted against Christy's estate show thai 
Christy had purchased $1017 of jewelry and luxury item;- 
for herself and two of her prostitutes from A. Helfferich, i 
Laramie jeweler.-' The jewelry was custom made and.l 
although purchased on credit, Christy had already paid for 
most of it. Other bills show that Christy made regular 
purchases of lingerie, lace, fine fabrics and veiling, as welli} 
as expensive glass ware, French quilts, and wallpaper and' 
carpeting to keep her houses well appointed. Her operatior 
was successful enough to allow her to carry fire insurance, 
on both houses from the Home Insurance Company of New 
York City. Her account at Trabing's Grocery Store for £ i 
three month period shows regular purchases of fine wines ; 
and liquors in addition to many expensive delicacies such j 
as eels. Christy died in 1882 leaving an estate valued atj 
$6,246.25. ' " I 

The quality of life of a middle-status cottage prosti- ' 
tute like Ada Hart was quite different from the comparative i 
luxury enjoyed by Christy Grover. Ada "Crazy Jane" Hart i 
chose to distance herself from her profession at the age ot i 
twenty one. She walked into a Laramie saloon, announced 
she was going to kill herself, and washed down the contents 
of a two ounce vial of laudanum with a glass of whiskey.-' 
Doctor Harris was summoned, but his ministrations weret 
unsuccessful. Various friends stopped by the cottage at- 

-- Case #59, Albany County Probate Court. 

-' Laramie Weekly Sentinel, Feb. 25, 1882. Certificate of man'iage 

issued to John A. Grover and Christy Finlayson in Denver, Colo., 

Sept. 17, 1881. 

-■* Case #59. Albany County Probate Court. 

-' Laramie Daily Boomerang, June 1, 2, 1886. 

-'' Case #59, Albany County Probate Court. 

-■ Coroner's Inquest on the body of Ada Hart. June 17, 1874. 

Albany County Coroner's Records, Wyoming State Archives, 

Cheyenne. 



r~i.immcr 



igQ5 







. ,.WT... K! .jMia»s*'*«:'i*«S3«3ai::a!^ftj 



Kcwtiuu Ihill. Liiiiiimc lU'f!). Firsi o/Z/t c <</ the 

Ldi'iinuc Bixiiiiciiini; (in.sel. iihavc). Bnlli phulc- 

,t,'/'((/)//\ Irmii ihi' Anicnciiii Hcnhi'^t' Center. 

Lni\ci'Ml\ (if Wvoiiiiiv^ 



tempting to assist Ada. but they left when a male "caller" 
annved. Ada died on the tlooi" of her cottage after her 
"caller" left her lying there and went downtown to have 
breakfast.-" 

At the time of Ada Hart ' s death, her estate was valued 
at $356.25. Her small house, valued at $150, contained 
little more than a bed and washstand. bureau, linens, a lamp 
and a feu straight back chaus and a photo album. Her only 
luxury items were two volumes of Milton and Wordsworth. 
a few pieces of cheap jewelry, and a .set of furs valued at 
$5.-" Ada Hart's entire estate was only worth a few dollars 
more than v\ hat Christy Grover spent for food and lic|uor 
over a three-month period. 

Gi\'en the harsh economic conditiiMis ot their li\es it 
is little wonder that priistitutes supplemented their in- 
comes by stealing from customers and fiom each other. 
Prostitutes stole not only money, but also items of cheap 
finery and items directly connected to the demands of their 
occupation such as beddnig. linens and pilknss. On Nov. 
20. 1 874. Annie Ferguson appeared in Justice Court accus- 
ing Lula Hoke of taking sheets, pillow cases, a bed spread 
and towels - all essential items to a prostitute. Lula was 
acquitted and ""One-.Armed Annie"" had ti) pay $19.25 in 
court costs for malicious prosecution. " 

Minetta Williams appears repeatedly in the court 
dockets of Laramie City, charged w ith stealing a vast array 



of items o\cr llic period of a few weeks. Minetta arri\ed 
in Laramie m the early 1870"s as a "respectable"" woman, 
the wife of the town's new physician. Within a few months, 
after disco\ering ihat Minetta was suffering from tubercu- 
losis. Dr. Williams quickly left Laramie Cit\ . abandiming 
Minetta and lea\ing her penniless. ' Minetta turned to 
prostitution to survive, and supplemented her earnings 
through theft. She died alone and destitute in an upstairs 
room on Second Street in 1878.' 

Sometimes the courts were less lenient and exacted 
nmre than a simple fine for prostitute's thefts. When 
Laramie prostitutes Moll_\ Wrisinger and Belle Jones, a 
mother of six children, stole a quantity of household goods 
from Cassius Webber, a familiar figure in Laramie's ten- 
derloin, they v\ere sentenced to terms at the Wyimiing 
Territorial Penitentiary." Five of Belle"s children were 
placed in a Denver orphanage. Belle" s fifteen-year-old 
daughter Ella was charged with ""delinquency"' and sent to 
the Home of the Good Shepherd in Denver. The nature of 
Ella"s delinquenc\ was unspecified, but it is L|uite likely 

-* Coroner's Inqucsl on the body ot .Ada Hart. Jiiiic 17. 1S74. 

-" Case #13. Albany County Probate Conn 

'" Justice Docket. Laramie City. No\ . 2(1. 1874. 

'' Criminal Case File #186. .Albany County District Court. 

'■' Lxuainie Daily Sciiiiinl. No\ . 2.\ 1 878. 

"Criminal Case Files #10 and #1 I. .Aug. 22. 1891. Albany County 

District Court. 



25 



XTyoming Histoiy Journal 

that she. like many other daughters of prostitutes had 
begun her journey into the demimonde. 

Prostitutes vied with one another for customers and 
located themselves in areas which provided the greatest 
potential for profitability. Often Laramie City prostitutes 
traveled to Cheyenne or Denver's notorious Market Street 
district when events such as an ending cattle drive would 
increase the male population of a town and provide a 
lucrative opportunity for the enterprising prostitute. Pros- 
titutes also moved from town to town to avoid legal 
problems or to escape some other dangerous or undesirable 
situation. 

Although prostitutes" financial security was inextri- 
cably linked to the men who patronized them, prostitutes 
often regarded their customers with loathing and con- 
tempt. Such contempt could fuel episodes of violence. At 
other times, attempts by customers to refuse payment or to 
otherwise abuse prostitutes resulted in violent exchanges. 
Thomas Dillon, a notorious Laramie ne'er-do-well, ap- 
peared in Laramie City's Justice Court in 1875 complain- 
ing that he feared that Mary Brady, owner of a brothel 
ranch on the Big Laramie River, would "kill and murder 
him and burn his house down."' 

The Laramie Weekly Sentinel of January 17, 1880. 
reported that "Cora Cooper, a fast woman, well known in 
Laramie, shot a musician named Cobb... on Sunday night 
last, hitting him in the wrist and thigh. Both will live to 
shoot again." 

In early summer. 1886. a large crowd of cowboys 
arrived in Laramie. They had been out on a horse round-up 
and had not been to town for quite some time. The Laramie 
Daily Boomerang reported that "their jingling spurs made 
music every where. ..and. ..their horses were clustered about 
in front of some public resort."" The "public resort" was 
Delia Briggs' Cheyenne House, an upscale Laramie bor- 
dello located at 317 Kearney, where Delia, Nettie Butler, 
Frankie Sage, Lulu Bell and Jennie Smith welcomed 
"gentlemen callers" for nearly a decade. * Later that evening 
Laramie police officer Jack Sharp was summoned to the 
Cheyenne House to quell a disturbance. Instead of being 
escorted to the scene of the conflict. Sharp was shown to a 
side room where he waited for someone to come and 
explain the trouble. Suddenly Delia appeared in the door- 
way and, without a word, drew a bead on Sharp with a .45 
caliber revolver, apparently intending to drop him where 
he stood. Sharp lunged for Delia and threw her to the floor, 
disarming her. Delia was taken to jail, charged with at- 
tempted murder, and released after posting bail in the 
amount of $500." The final disposition of the case is 
unknown and Delia's motive for the attack was never 



revealed. Within a few months of the incident, Delia was 
back in business at the same address. 

Physical and psychological mayhem was a fact of life 
for frontier prostitutes, and in the struggle to survive, they 
responded in kind to those who posed a threat to their 
personal safety and property. The fierce competition among 
prostitutes engendered hostility, suspicion and jealousies 
which undermined the development of stable, rewarding 
friendships and bonds of unity. Life in the tenderloin 
offered few comforts and little hope for the women who 
worked and lived in the social margins of Laramie City. 

Friends and Enemies 

Despite her existence within a community of women, 
the life of a prostitute was largely devoid of friendship and 
the bonds of trust and solidarity which friendship implies. 
Although some friendships did occur between prostitutes, 
these relationships were usually tenuous and were often 
sabotaged by the perpetually shifting patterns of alliance 
and enmity within the demimonde. It was during times of 
crisis such as the illness, injury or death of a sister prostitute 
that the women of the demimonde displayed the greatest 
solidarity. Their many acts of generosity and kindness to 
their fallen sisters belied the violence and cruel ruthless- 
ness that characterized many of their daily interactions 
with one another. 

Laramie prostitutes Lizzie Stevens (Pawnee Liz) and 
Nettie Wright almost always had an extremely young girl 
under their tutelage. Julia Coyle and Emma Christie were 
both in their early teens at the time of their association with 
Liz." Nettie Wright spared no expense in providing a 
lavish funeral for her seventeen-year-old protege Bell 
Verdon after Bell's sudden demise.'" 

Lower status prostitutes Lizzie Palmer and Maggie 
Reed brought food and wine and attempted to ease the final 

'* Justice Docket, Albany County. Feb. 22, 1875. 

'^ Lciramie Daily Boomerang. June 5, 1886. 

'" Laramie City Directory, 1892. Delia was an associate of John and 

Monte Grover's before going into business for herself. She became 

rather civic-minded in the early 1890s, petitioning for the installation 

of a sewer pipe in the alley between Custer and Kearney streets. She 

also pressed for improvements to the cemetery. After 1 893 she 

vanished from the public record. See Minutes. Laramie City 

Council, July 21, 1891, and Sept. .^, 1893. 

" Criminal Case File #291. June 8, 1886, Albany County District 

Court. 

'" Laramie Daily Sentinel. March 7, 16, 1877; Justice Docket #946, 

Albany County. 

'" Register of Burials for Cheyenne Cemetery, 1875-1932, April 24. 

1876. 



26 



igQ5 



hours oftheir long-time companion SaliieThixton.adown 
and out alcoholic prostitute with whom they traveled the 
Cheyenne/Laramie circuit.'" Sallie died in a room above 
Patrick Doran's Shamrock Saloon across from the Union 
Pacific railyard. Her death was attributed to intemperance 
and exposure/ 

Emma Christie flounced through the street life of the 
Laramie tenderloin, engaging in the usual share of fist 
fights, public displays and court appearances. Prior to fall, 
1877, she forged a friendship with another young prosti- 
tute, Fannie Burgess, and the two struck out for Cheyenne 
to try their luck. While working as a cottage prostitute, 
Emma fell in love with a bartender named George. Spurned 
by the object of her affections, Emma consumed a large 
dose of morphine on the day following her twentieth 
birthday.'- Fannie returned to the cottage to find Emma on 
the verge of death. Emma died in Fannie's arms a few- 
minutes later, leaving a note which read 

My Dear Little Partner, Fannie: 

Do forgive me if ever I have harmed you. You 
know that I die because I cannot have the man 1 
love. ..and good hye for me, and I forgive all that has 
ever harmed me, except them that stole my darling 
from me. Tell him I loved him to the last. Don't forget 
to send that telegram to my mother. Don't tell her I am 
dead. ..Kiss Cora for me. Try and have me buried." 

Emma died a pauper, but unlike many of her col- 
leagues in the "lost sisterhood," she did not go to an 
unmarked grave in the Potter's Field of a Cheyenne cem- 
etery. Billy Chamberlain, one of the Cheyenne saloon 
crowd, took it upon himself to raise money to pay for a 
proper funeral for Emma.'' Numerous contributors in the 
demimonde added enough dollars to the fund to provide 
Einma with a nice coffin and a marker inscribed with the 
words 

Sacred to the memory of 

Miss Emma Christy 

Born Sept. 5, 1857 

Died Sept 6, 1877 

Aged 20 Years and 1 Day 

God Rest Her Soul'^ 

Soon after Emma's death, the inconsolable Fannie 
attempted to take her own life. It was reported that she had 
made an oath over Einma's body that she would follow 
Emma within a week.'" Fannie's suicide attempt was 
unsuccessful due to the watchfulness and intervention of 
other prostitutes.'' 



Many violent episodes between prostitutes erupted as 
the result of some trivial provocation and reflected the 
contempt that prostitutes felt for themselves and for one 
another. A few days prior to Thanksgiving, 1 877. Fannie 
Smith petitioned the court for protection because prostitute 
Susan Stone had threatened to cut her throat and kill her." 
A trial date was set for February, but charges were later 
dismissed. Fannie, fearing for her life, had fled the county 
and could not be located. 

During August, 1877, a long-standing enmity be- 
tween black prostitutes Ann Johnson and Susan Stone 
finally reached the breaking point. Susan accused Ann of 
stealing her pillows. Ann flew into a rage and viciouslv 
beat Susan with a curling iron, nearly killing her."' Ann fled 
to Rawlins after the attack, but was captured by Sheriff 
Nottage and retm'ned \o Laramie to await trial. A nev\ spa- 
per reporter who had written a humorous article about the 
incident wandered into the jail hoping for further details on 
the progress of the case. He encountered Ann who was 
scrubbing the floor in the cell block. Ann confronted him 
about the article, which she considered insulting, and then 
assaulted him w ith a Are shovel."' 

Shortly after being charged with the theft of some 
items belonging to Laramie City prostitute Emma Halbing, 
"One Armed Annie" Ferguson moved to Cheyenne to 
work in the brothel of tbrmer Laramie madam Kate Sage. 
Within a few days after her arrival, Annie incurred the 
wrath of another prostitute, Fanny Brown, who gave Annie 
a savage beating. When Kate went to Annie's room to 
check on her she found Annie in bed with her face co\ ered 
with blood. Annie told Kate, "Fanny Brown gave me the 
beating. 1 am hurt inside and think 1 will die soon."' 

Annie lingered for three more days in a state of agony, 
attempting to alleviate her pain through the use of mor- 
phine and alcohol. In spite of her perilous condition, the 
economic necessities of Annie's life dictated that she could 



""" Civil and Criminal Docket, Laramie Coun(y District Court, Jan. 

23, 1872, and March 26, 1872: Coroner's Inquest on the Body of 

Sallie Thaxton, July 21, 1881. 

" Coroner's Inquest on the Body ol Sallie Thaxton. 

'- Cheyemw Daily Sun. Sept. 7, 1877, 

" Cheyenne Daily Sun. Sept. 7. 1S77, 

" Cheyenne Daily Sun. Sept. 8, 1 877. 

" Cheyenne Daily Sun. Sept. 14. 1877. 

"■ Cheyenne Daily Sun, Sept. I -\ 1877. 

^" Laramie Daily Sentinel. Scpl. 14, 1877. 

"Criminal Case #318, Nov. 23, 1877, Albany County District Court. 

'" Docket #85, Aug. 30, 1877, Albany County District Court. 

"' Laramie Daily Sentinel. Sept. 1, 20, 1877. 

^' Che\enne Daily Sun. April 10, 1877. 



Wyoming Histoiy Journal 

not turn away clients. Battered and bleeding internally, 
Annie received a "caller" and took him to her room. The 
next morning a resident of the brothel found Annie dead in 
her bed. with the drunken "caller" lying by her side, 
unaware that Annie had died during the night.'- Fannie 
Brown w as briefly held in jail, but was released after the 
coroner's jury attributed Annie's death to alcohol and 
opiate poisoning. Of course, the identity of the "caller" was 
protected by the press to spare him any embarrassment in 
the matter. The disposition of the case stands as another sad 
example of the devaluation of the life of a "fallen woman." 
The tenderloin offered prostitutes little more than a life of 
miser\ . despair, danger and hopelessness. 

Pimps and Lovers 

Until the turn of the century, prostitution networks in 
Laramie City , as in othertowns. were controlled by women. 
Although pimps were present in the Laramie City tender- 
loin, their role was not so much managerial as it was that 
of parasitic hangers-on, idle men who lived by the sexual 
labor of the w omen with whom they formed attachments. 
Many pimps were ruthless and cruel, battering and abusing 
the women who provided their livelihood, stealing their 
belongings, and robbing them of their earnings. Some 
prostitutes turned to pimps in an attempt to find protection 
from abuses by customers, others sought affection, or 
believed that an alliance with a pimp would provide greater 
financial security. In almost 
every case they were disap- 
pointed. 

Felix Monroe supple- 
mented his earnings from 
the Union Pacific Railroad 
by operating a road house 
and a row of squalid cribs in 
West Laramie where both 
black and white lower sta- 
tus prostitutes plied their 
trade.' In 1881 Monroe and 
another man created quite a 
sensation in Laramie by en- 
gaging in a pitched gun 
battle over the affections of 
a black prostitute.'^ 

C. G. Masterson, a la- 

Chrisry Glover's grave. 

Greenhill Cemetery. Richard 

Collier photograph. 




borer for the Union Pacific Railroad, was sentenced to a 
term at the Wyoming Territorial Penitentiary after being 
convicted in the attempted murder and brutal knife slash- 
ing of his young wife." Masterson married again after his 
release from prison, but his new bride soon left him and 
found solace in the arms of a young man working in the tie 
camp at Tie Siding, south of Laramie City. Ma.sterson's 
relentless attempts to reclaim his bride incurred the wrath 
of the men in the camp who attempted to lynch him. A man 
named Freel intervened, cutting Masterson down and 
warning him to run for his life, which he did amid a hail of 
bullets from the disgruntled tie hacks." 

Masterson later formed an alliance with Laramie City 
prostitute Georgie Lightheart with whom he had a child." 
Soon after the birth of their child Masterson was jailed 
following a bungled forgery attempt. He might have suc- 
ceeded if he could have remembered to disguise his hand- 
writing." While awaiting trial in the Laramie jail. Masterson 
made the acquaintance of the widow Ellen Card, who was 
also incarcerated and charged with stealing "one head of 
neat cattle" from Wyoming cattleman and political figure 
Joseph M. Carey.'" The widow Card planned a daring 
jailbreak using Masterson and Georgie Lightheart as her 
accomplices. By surreptitiously passing notes to Masterson, 
she persuaded him to have Georgie smuggle a club into the 
jail to Charles Henry, a male prisoner."" 

On the night of the jail break, Henry enticed the jailer 
into a cell, clubbed him into unconsciousness, and released 
the widow Card and all the other male prisoners. An alarm 
was soon raised and an armed posse of Laramie citizens 
raced after the escapees. Never known for his good fortune, 
Masterson soon found himself pursued by a man named 
Spencer. Nearly out of breath, Masterson attempted to gain 
time by shouting over his shoulder to Spencer, "Where's 
the fire?" Undeceived by the ploy. Spencer leveled his gun 
at Masterson and replied. "You had better stop and throw 
up your hands, or I'll show you where the fire is!""' 

Of the seven w ho tied the jail that night only two were 
captured - a Henry Hunt and Masterson. who had kept the 
incriminating notes detailing the escape plans in his shirt 

-'- Ibid. 

" Laramie Weekly Sentinel, Feb. 1 , 1 890. 

'" Laramie Weekly Sentinel, Dec. 3. 1881. 

'-' Criminal Case #164, Feb. 17, 1874, Albany County Districl Court. 

'" Laramie Daily Sentinel, Feb. 1 5. 1 876. 

•" Board of Charities and Reform. Convict Register of Wyoming 

Territorial Prison. Laramie, Aug. 24. 1877. 148. 

'* Laramie Daily Sentinel, April 14, 1877. 

^'> Laramie Daily Sentinel, Feb. 15. 1876. 

"" Ibid. 

"' Ibid. 



28 



I W: 



pocket.'- Masterson again took up residence in the Terri- 
torial Penitentiary. The daring widow Card disappeared 
into the night and was not heard from again. 

John Grover li\ed well on the income from Christy 
Grover's brothel. As the sole heir to her estate at the time 
of her death, the nmney he inherited enabled hun to dabble 
in real estate and purchase a saloon. Many in Laramie were 
uneasy about the circumstances surrounding Christy's 
suicide, which occuired just six months after she married 
Gro\er. Returning from an afternoon spent drinking and 
playing billiards at the Laramie Brewery. Christy report- 
edly argued with Monte Arlington, one of her prostitutes, 
regarding some clothes that another prostitute had suppos- 
edly stolen. As soon as Monte left the room, Christy 
allegedly picked up a pistol which had been lying on the 
window sill and shot herself through the head.'' 

There were no witnesses to the incident and Grover 
was widely suspected of murdering Christy. The coroner's 
inquest, relying almost entirely on testimony given by 
Grover, ruled Christy's death a suicide.'"" J. H. Hayford, 
editor of the Laramie Weekly Sentinel, had nothing detri- 
mental to say about Gro\er's role in the incident, but did 
not hesitate to castigate Christy, writing 

...There is little use to u hich such wrecks upon 
the shore of time can be put. except to serve as 
beacon lights to warn other voyagers of the rock 
and shoals. We have no knov\ ledge of the past life 
and history of this woman, but it is not probable 
she had kind, loving, judicious. Christian parents 
and was brought up under good and wise training, 
it is not our prerogati\ e to judge her. .She has 
lived a life of vice and crime leaving the trail 
of the serpent wherever she went, sowing the 
seeds of death and dragging others dow n with her, 
and such a death is a fitting end to such a life."' 

After Christy's death Grover quickly married Mitnte 
Arlington, and together they continued to operate the 
brothel which was now commonly referred to as "Gix)ver's 
Institute." Grover's marriage to Monte lasted until 1895. 
In the fall of that year Monte began to refuse food, claiming 
that someone was attempting to poison her. Monte" s aver- 
sion to food intensified, and in November she died."" 
Again, though many were suspicious of Grover's role in 
the matter, the conclusions of the Coroner's Jury were 
again based substantially on Grover's te.stimony. The 
:oroner's jury attributed Monte's death to "starvation 
:aused by insanity."" Although Christy Grover's grave in 
Laramie's Greenhill Cemetery is marked with a large 



attractive monument. Grover could not be troubled to part 
with any of his ill-gotten gains for Monte. .She lies next to 
Christy in an unmarked grave, shunned and forgotten."" 

Within days after Monte's funeral, the city council 
demonstrated their contempt for Grover by insisting that 
he i"eiin)ve "Grover's Institute" from it's location on .South 
B ( Grand A\ enue ) to either Front Street itr to an area more 
remote from the general business district. They informed 
Grover that refusal to comply would result m his being 
arrested and fined on a daily basis.' ' Bested but not beaten. 
Grover relocated at 3 I 1 Front Street. Shortly after the turn 
of the century Grover rented his Front Street property to 
long-time Laramie madam Minnie Ford and moved to 
California. Grover's health began to fail soon after he 
arrived in Los Angeles. In 1911, ill and unable to care for 
himself, Gro\ er rigged a shotgun to the foot oi' his bed and 
took his own life. ' 

In their liasons with pimps and lovers, prostittiles 
seldom experienced the love and supportive mutuality 
which characterize more functional relationships. It was 
far more likely that a prostitute's relatiimship w ith a pimp 
w ould result m a downward progression within the profes- 
sion which, as the ravages of time and the hazards of the 
tenderloin took their toll, usually ended in destitution nr 
death. 

The City CoTTers and 
Working Girls Dollars 

Laramie continued to grow and prosper. The L'nion 
Pacific Railroad was joined by other industries as well as 
by the L'niversity of Wyoming in creating an economic 
base for the town. Residential districts were increasingly 
defined by the socio-econonuc status of their inhabitants. 
Business in the tenderloin district continued unabated, but 
laws controlling saloons aiul gambling establishnienls 
were more siringenllv enforced to ensure that ow ncis paid 



'•-' Ihid. 

"" Comnci's Inquest on ihc Bodv nl Mrs. J. A. Grover. Fch. 20. 

1SS2. 

••' Ibid. 

"' Laramie Weekly Senriiwl. Feb. 25. 1882. 

"" Coroner's Inquest on the Body of Monte .Arlington Grover. 

November 1885. 

'■■ Ibid. 

"* Greenhill Cenielerv records list Monte's gravesite as Old U, 33, 

N.W. 4. 

"" Minutes, Laramie City Council. Nov. 5. 1805. 

™ Case #560, April 18, 1914, Albany County Probate Court. 



29 



^'^yoming History Journal 



their licensing fees.' Monthly "fines" collected from pros- 
titutes on the first of each month by the town marshal had 
increased from $10 to $18.'- Revenue generated through 
the collection of licensing fees and fining prostitutes rep- 
resented a substantial contribution to the city coffers. 
While frequent attempts were made to control, exploit and 
isolate prostitutes within Laramie City 's demimonde, their 
sizeable economic contribution to the community served 
as a mitigating influence, discouraging any significant 
effort to drive them from the town. 

Various church and civic groups attempted from time 
to time to rid Laramie City of prostitutes and to force 
Sunday closures of the saloons and gambling dens." Such 
efforts generated lively debates, but seldom were success- 
ful in realizing their objectives. On December 6, 1885, a 
citizens' group petitioned the city council to order the 
removal of all houses of prostitution to the regions outside 
the city limits. Reluctant to take such action, the council 
debate ended when Councilman Chaplin moved that laws 
on houses of prostitution be enforced as written. Chaplin's 
motion failed to garner a second and the matter was 
dropped. "■• 

In May 1896, Mayor Brown instructed the marshal to 
stop collecting the monthly $18 fine from the city's pros- 
titutes and to deal with prostitutes on a case by case basis 
for public intoxication, disorderly conduct and other mis- 
demeanors.'- Mayor Brown justified this action by stating 
to the council that, "When you undertake, for the purpose 
of revenue, to license this sort of business. ..you are making 
every man, woman, and child in the city partners in their 
nefarious business."'" Brown explained that prostitution 
could be bettercontrolled by enforcing ordinances, stating. 

There are two ways in which this ordinance can be 
enforced. One by fining these people every day - 
because they are guilty every day - enforcing the 
ordinance in that way by arresting them every day until 
they are driven out of the community entirely. Another 
method would be to fine them whenever they in any 
way get to be unruly. ..whenever they do anything 
improperoutsideof their peculiar business -if it can be 
called by that name - they should be punished by the 
full limit of the ordinance." 

The hue and cry raised by other council members and 
the local citizenry over the loss of this revenue was tempes- 
tuous. An indignant article in the Laramie Daily Boomer- 
ang on May 20, 1896, blustered that "abolishment of these 
fines, which have been a source of revenue to the city and 
assisted some in reducing taxes, as well as restraining 



temptation, cannot be explained upon any hypothesis 
consistent with. ..'economy.' " 

At a subsequent council meeting in July during Mayor 
Brown's absence. Acting Mayor Lohlein overrode Brown, 
stating he would instruct the marshal to resume collecting 
the $18 fines.'" The Laramie Daily Boomerang reported 
that "over $200 was collected during the past month from 
this source [fining prostitutes], and it is a serious question 
if the administration would not be bankrupt today if they 
had not collected the fines for the past year.""" 

Councilman Jones was reported as gloomily imply- 
ing that as a result of the loss of monthly revenue from 
prostitutes, "it looked as though the city would run short oft 
money before taxes were collected..."." 

It is hardly surprising therefore that civic movements 
to drive prostitutes from the city met with little support 
from the administration. It is clear that the profitability of 
the red light district influenced public attitudes and politi- 
cal decisions which tacitly condoned the existence oft 
prostitution in Laramie City. Wyoming. Publicly con- 
temptuous of the very institution they insidiously fostered, 
city officials were indirectly coopted into a supporting role 
in the economy of Laramie City's demimonde. Careful to 
endorse social constraints and implicit boundaries v.'hich > 
marginalized and controlled members of the demimonde, . 
city officials avoided acknowledging their own complicity 
in the perpetuation of prostitution in Laramie City. 

The tinkle of the hurdy-gurdy and the cry of the Keno 
dealer drifted away on the wild Wyoming winds which 
swept across the Laramie Plains, but the "ladies of the line" 
did not vanish from Laramie's tenderloin district for many 
years to come. Soiled doves and fallen angels waited to 
welcome "callers" in the upstairs rooms and "boarding 
houses" of the tenderloin, knowing that for most of them 
life would never offer more than this. Drifters on the crest 



" Minutes, 
'-Minutes, 
" Minutes, 
'^ Minutes, 
'' Minutes, 
" Laramie 
" Laramie 
'" Laramie 
" Laramie 
'" Laramie 
" Ibid. 



Laramie City Council, Dec. 6, 1889. 

Laramie City Council. June 6. 1896, July 7. 1896. 

Laramie City Council, Nov. 5. 1895. 

Laramie City Council, Dec. 6, 1885. 

Laramie City Council, May 19, 1896. 

Daily Boomerang, June 1 7, 1 896. 

Daily Boomerang. Nov. 22, 1896. 

Daily Boomerang, May 20, 1 896. 

Daily Boomerang, July 7, 1896; July 8. 1896. 

Daily Boomerang, July 8, 1896. 



30 



I QQ: 



of westward expansion, the prostitutes of Laramie City 
added tineir stories to the anecdotal heritage of the West. 
Our legacy from these women is far greater than a collec- 
tion of colorful tales that have been incorporated into our 
folklore. The storv of the .American West cannot he fully 



understood until we are able to understand the cultural 
significance of the social, political and economic struggles 
of the prostitutes who lived and worked in Laramie City 
and countless towns throuehout the West. 



Carol Lee Bovvers Ls working toward the Ph.D. in 
United States history at the University of Wyoming. 
She earned her B. A. in Education from the University 
of Florida, and the NL A. in American Studies from the 
University of Wyoming. Her current research focus is 
on women's issues in the nineteenth century Rocky 
Mountain West. 



31 




Frank Powell (left) with Julia and "Buffalo Bill" Cody 



DOCTOR. lAWait INDIAN CrUth 

THE LIFE O? FRAMK POWELL MEDICINE MAN 



BY ERIC V. SO;<G 



:^iimmci' 



"-Nz 



f f hen reading, or hearing, anything about Dr. David 
Franklin "The Surgeon Scout." "Fancy Frank." "Mighty 
Medicine Man." "White Beaver." Powell. Medicine 
Chief of the Winnebago, an observation attributed to a 
North Platte newspaper in 1898. should be kept in mind: 
"Colonel Cod\ ought to lasso Major Powell and place him 
on exhibition in his side show as the biggest liar God e\ er 
let live.""' Frank Powell was a renowned marksman and 
physician, a powerful Wisconsin Populist leader, and Bill 
Cody"s best friend and. at one point, even his attorney. 

It has been handed down by the popular press that 
David Franklin Powell entered the world" s stage on May 
25, 1847, in Kentucky somewhere near the Kentucky 
River, not far from the Tennessee border. Hrs brother 
George was born in 1848. and William was born a year 
later in 1849. Their Scottish father. Dr. C.H. Powell, met 
their mother. Fannie Tompkins, while she and her father, 
the son of a Seneca shaman, were on a hunting expedition. 
C.H. Powell was evidentl) taken with Fannie Tompkins 
who he married before her sixteenth birthday. - 

Shortly after C. H. died in 185.5. Frank, who was eight, 
and the rest of the Powells mo\ed to a farm thirty miles 
outside of Ithaca. New York, to stay with Fannie"s elderly 
parents brietly before heading west where Frank became 
known far and wide as "The Boy Doctor"" because of his 
skill in medicines and surgery. The Surgeon Scout, as 
western frontiersmen later called him. found ad\enture 
and honor in the frontier military. 

Most of the accounts of Frank PowelTs first three 
decades follow the above scenario. Unfortunately, much 
of it was fabricated by Powell. Buffalo Bill, J.W. Buel and 
Prentiss Ingraham. PovvelTs early life, in reality, follow ed 
a less spectacular outline that included a failed marriage, 
a dissolute late adolescence, and a ruined military career. 
In one of the few letters extant to or from Powell he 
mentions his tough childhood in Bethel. New York, and 
alludes to his family "s struggle to survive.' After the death 
of his father. Frank dropped out of grade school to become 
the male head of the household. Like his future "blood 
brother" Bill Cody, Frank Powell became an adult without 
first being allowed his childhood, and he found work in a 
Bethel pharmacy to support his family. At times, all of the 
Powell brothers worked as pharmacists, though Frank is 
the only one w ho peddled patent medicine nostrums. The 
Powell boys all developed an extensive knowledge of 
drugs and herbs, and in his later life Frank "took a perfect 
delight in writing prescriptions with some catch in them, 
such as discarded names and svmbols.""^ 



Starting in 1865. Frank studied for two vears to be a 
druggist under ¥.A. Br\an at 33 Dearborn Street in Chi- 
cago and by 1 867. Frank had reached Omaha. George and 
the rest of the Powell clan soon followed. 

In Omaha. Frank worked for James K. Ish"s drug 
company. The La Crosse City Directory of 1 885-6 states: 
"As a \er\ young man he [Piiwell j was a partner in the firm 
of Ish & Powell. Druggist, of Omaha. Neb."" This entry, 
like many of the historic entries about Powell, could ha\e 
been written by him. a great self-promoter. The 1 868 and 
1870 Omaha City Directories li.st him as only a clerk for 
Ish. 

On November 13. 1870. Buffalo Bill Cody made his 
first trip to Omaha, and being unfamiliar w ith the citv the 
famous scout needed to hire a guide lo show him around 
town.' Perhaps the guide was Frank Powell, or introduced 
Frank to Bill, who was interested m becoming: a Mason. 



NellieYost. Biiftciln Bill Hi\ Lite Tinic\ iiiul .\il\i-nliirc\ (Chlcayci: 
SwaHovv Press, iQ74). 27X. 

' Si'lJwrs' iiiul Cui:cii\' Allniiii nf Bini^icipliucil Rfcniih 
(Chicago: Grand .'Krmy Puhiishiiig. LS^Oi. fil I ; .lames William Biiel. 
Hemes ot the Plains (New \'ork: Historical Puhlishing Co . ISN4). 
5?b-5M: La Crosse Trihiiiie. Now 14. 142h. 

'Powell Indian Wars Militar\ Record. National .Archives. Birthplace 
in .Sullixan CuimtN. New \ori.. also is noted in Prentiss Ingraham. 
While Betiver: The liuiian Meilieine duel (New ^'ork: Beadle and 
.Adams, I.SiS4l. and in the personal recollections ot hi. \\ . Thtirston in 
(he .Americm Heritage Center, l'ni\ersit\ of Wsoming. .All ol ihe 
other biographical sketches ol Powell remrorce ihe Powell origins 
first published in Buel's Heraes. George Powell's ni. image certilicate 
in the Merrick County's clerk's office lists his father's name as 
William H, Powell and the place of birth as New York. The census 
records further conluse the Powells' origins - Frank consistently 
maintained that he was born in Kentuck> and George was |ust as 
consistent that he was born in New \'ork, W illiam switched between 
New York and Kentucky. It is unfortunate that no personal letters of 
the Powell brothers have come to light. The popular press hints at 
childhood reasons behind I-rank .ind George's sibling ri\,ilr\ ,ind 
occasionally a squabble explodes in local newspapers, hut no hard 
documents ha\e appeared to elaborate on their feud, 
■•Mrs. C. S. Van Auken. La Crosse Trilnme. No\ . 14. U)26. Mrs. Van 
•Auken's father worked for Dr. D.F. Powell as his chief pharmacist and 
her husband was a close politicil supporter o\ Powell's. 
' .Albert Johannsen, The House oj Beadle ami Adams and its Dime and 
Niekel Novels vol. II (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 14s0), 
228-229: Omaha Gin- Direelones oflS6S & IS70: Weekly Wiseousiii 
Labor Advoeatc. Feb. IS. 1,S,S7. F.W. Bryan, the son F..A. Bryan, 
vi.sited Powell in La Crosse. Internal e\idence in Powell's speeches 
indicate that he started the medical profession, which included the 
drug trade, in ISb.s. If the Powell lamiK lived in New York, it would 
be natural for them not to nunc until after the Civil War. 
'■ Omaha Daily Herald. Now l.\ 1X70. 



33 



^'Tvoming Histoiy Journal 



Fort Cottonwood, 
Nebraska Territory. 
1864. 

Nebraska State 
Historical Society 
photograph 




Though the records are sketchy and contradictory, Frank 
Powell, a 33rd degree Mason, might have started instruct- 
ing brother Masons in Nebraska and Wyoming on the 
Masonic rites and met Bill Cody as early as November 15, 
1869, when Bill helped found Platte Valley Lodge No. 32 
A.F. and A.M. "Though there is no hard documentation to 
back up the claim that Powell made Cody a Master Mason, 
Frank was certainly present on January 10, 1871, when 
Cody became a Master Mason, because on that day they 
celebrated the event with a buffalo hunt." 

By this point, Powell had purchased the Eagle Island 
Ranch near Lone Tree (now Central City), Nebraska. 
There, Powell's wife made quite an impression on the 
many travelers. The great [?] grandfather of Mr. W.H. 
Stevenson wrote that Mrs. Powell "'was a lady of more 
than ordinary ability, tall and stately with natural grace, 
she was a queen among women." At Eagle Island, the 
Powells are supposed to have met, among other notable 
characters. Dr. Joseph B. Brown, medical director for the 
Department of the Platte.' 

Frank Powell won a competitive scholarship to the 
Louisville Medical College and studied medicine there 
from 1871, until his graduation in the spring of 1873. 
Powell appears on the list of faculty members as a janitor 



in the 1872 and 1873 graduation programs. The termi 
"janitor" at the Louisville Medical College designatec 
that they were the persons responsible for getting the 
cadavers to study, and medical students and professor; 
sometimes stole corpses for dissection.'" 

The multi-faceted faculty expanded on Powell's vasi 
knowledge of drugs and herbs building the foundation ol 

' Yost, Buffalo Bill. 40. Popular articles about Powell credit him with' 
being the Deputy Grand Master for Nebraska, Wyoming, and Colo- 
rado, however Mr. B. Lain Alexander, the Masonic historian for tha 
area, wrote to the author on Oct. 28, 1992. that there was no record oi 
Powell holding that position. There are contemporary reprints of i 
Laramie Sentinel article from the 1860s or 70s that stated that Powel 
was in Laramie instructing Masons on Masonic rites and rituals. 
=* Omaha Weekly Herald. Jan. 11, 1871. 

"Fragment of a manuscript. Murphy Library, La Crosse, Wisconsin 
'" Letter. Colleen Schiavone to author, Dec. 14. 1992; Dwayne Cox 
Histoiy of the University of Louisville (Louisville: University ol ! 
Louisville Archives, 1 992), 1 -2. According to Dr. Schiavone, rivalries 
existed between doctors following different methodologies and duel; 
were not uncommon. Ms. Cheryl Redmon. Louisville, agreed that i 
was common for individuals to get a M.D. without having attendee 
grade school, and that it was not uncommon for a person to attend si> 
weeks out of a four-month term and graduate. Interview, Feb. 1 1 
1993. For other details about the medical establishment of Powell's 
era see: James Harvey Young, Toadstool Millionaires (Princeton 
Princeton University Press. 1961 ). 157-159; Eric Jameson, The Natu- 
ral Histoiy of Quackery (London: Michael Joseph, 1961). 174. 



34 



Summer 1 QQ; 



his eclectic approach to healing. Dr. Powell graduated 
from the Louisville Medical College February 28. 1873. 
He received honorary mention for his thesis and delivered 
the valedictory speech." 

Dr. Powell started practicing medicine immediately. 
According to the Fort McPherson post returns. Acting 
Assistant Surgeon Powell started his military contract at 
Buffalo Bill's home base on March 20. 1 873. That summer 
Acting Assistant Surgeon Thomas Maghee spent the sum- 
mer at Fort McPherson where he first met Dr. Powell. Dr. 
Maghee wrote, "Got good quarters already furnished 
board with Dr. D.F. Powell. I like him very much only he 
teases his wife too much.... 1 will attend sick call this 
morning as Dr. Powell has gone to N[orth] P[lattel.'" 
Within a few days, however. Maghee had changed his 
mind: "Buffalo Bill & Texas Jack have been here and are 
now on a Buffalo hunt on the Republican. Dr. Powell is 
with them I don't think very much of him." - 

Dr. Maghee's reference to Frank Powell teasing his 
wife is significant. Like much of Powell's early life, his 
first marriage has been a mystery. One story has it that 
Powell came back from a scout to find his first wife in the 
midst of a physical relationship with an officer who Powell 
promptly shot, and then, like a true dime novel hero, Frank 
fled to became an outlaw for a couple of years. A friend of 
Powell's stated that Frank "put an end to his rival," and 
Buffalo Bill wrote that a Captain Hyena kidnapped and 
probably murdered Janette Joslyn, Powell's literary 
"woman/child bride."" The actual story of Frank's first 
marriage is hidden by these fabrications. Contract sur- 
geons in the frontier military had less authority than 
second lieutenants. Advancement in the military medical 
corps was limited by a hiring freeze on the staff medical 
corps effective October 6, 1873." Even after the govern- 
ment lifted the hiring freeze, advancement remained con- 
strained by an Act of Congress approved on June 23, 1 874. 
The freeze did not stop Dr. Powell from immediately 
gathering letters of recommendation so that he could be 
tested by the Board of Medical Examiners for a commis- 
sion in the regular military medical corps. He submitted 
his credentials to them on April 1, 1873.'- 

The plodding pace of government bureaucracy did not 
suit ambitious Dr. Powell, and he sent a follow-up letter 
concerning his application to Secretary of War William 
Belknap. Powell's letter is a little sharper than his earlier 
communications and he closed the letter pleading to be 
tested as "it is a matter of vital importance to me."'" 

Powell received orders to report to the post hospital at 
Camp Stambaugh, Wyoming Territory, on January 30, 



'^^ 1^ 







Dr. Frank Powell. 

Photo, .^rea Research Center, Uni\ersit>' ol Wisconsin. La Crosse 

1874. In March a critical Dr. Maghee visited Dr. Powell 

and made this diary entry: 

We found Dr. Powell ui Old Kenns pla\ing 'Pitch' 
with a crowd of roughs. He was rude in not going over 
with us to his quarters. I wish I had not gone... Powell 
tried to apologize by talking of the corpse he was trying 
to get at. He and his wife have separated, he accusing 
her of Grim. Con. with that young Tyler [probably 
Captain George L. Tyler assigned to the 2nd Cavalry 
December IS. I870| and in the same breath tell of his 

' Graduation program Louisville Medical College. February. 1873, 
University of Louisville Archives. 

'-Charles Lindsay, ed.. "The Diary of Dr. Thomas G. Maghee." 
Nebraska History XII (July 1929). 264. 

" Unidentified article dated December 3. 7905 (sic), Pouell files, 
Buffalo Bill Historical Center; William F. Cody, The Wizard Bothers, 
or White Beaver's Red Trail (New York: Beadle and Adams. 1886). 
'■■ Official correspondence folder. Thomas Maghee Papers. American 
Heritage Center. After repeated examinations starting in 1874. 
Maghee finally became an Examining Surgeon on March 18. 1881. 
'^Powell military records. National Archives. Powell started 
to intensify his campaign to get examined on April 13, 1873. 
with a letter to Secretary of War William Belknap and a 
letter to the Surgeon General J.K. Barnes on May 5, 1873. 

'' Powell military records. National Archives. 
''Lindsay. "The Diary of Dr. Thomas G, Maghee." 286. 



35 



\\"\'omint: Histtin- Journal 




Frank Powell and unidentified child. 

Murphy Librarv, L'niVLTMt> ot Wisconsin, LaCrosse 

connection with Modoc Lucy prior to his wife's fault... 

I hear today that Powell is bumming with those bilks 

at Miners Delight." 

Dr. Maghee did not approve of Dr. PowelF s life and he 
would have noted it if Powell either killed "young Tyler" 
or ran off and became an outlaw. Nonetheless, the tale of 
Dr. Powell's first marriage is not completely told. 

In the beginning of 1874. Dr. Powell became con- 
cerned that his age would make him too old to be accepted 
in the regular military medical corps. He annulled his 
contract when the Surgeon General did not approve his 
request for a leave of absence to study medicine. 

In Louisville, Powell worked as an Assistant Demon- 
strator of Anatomy at the Medical College and continued 



to pester Generals Belknap and Brow: 
about his examination for the reguk 
medical corps. Powell finally receive 
his invitation to appear before the Boar 
of Medical Examiners on November \b 
1 874, four days after Congress lifted th 
hiring freeze. Dr. Powell appeared befor 
the Military Medical Examiners on Apr 
5. 1 875, and flunked the anatomy portio 
of the test. "The examination deeply al; 
fected Dr. Powell who studied anatom 
for the better part of his life.'" 

On April 20, 1 875. Dr. Powell signe- 
another contract with the army as ai 
Acting Assistant Surgeon and reporte 
for duty at Camp Robinson, Nebraska, 
week later. In August. Dr. Powell wa 
ordered to Fort Laramie and report to th 
Surgeon General about equipment that h 
lost.-" 

That October. Powell accompanici 
two companies of the 2nd Cavalry tn 
Camp Stambaugh to relieve Dr. Magheei 
who had been previously ordered to tes 
tify at a court martial. Maghee could noj 
leave because "There being a large numul 
ber of sick at the Post and there being nuij 
other assistainces [sic] available the Cap; 
tains would not permit the Doctor to leav^ 
the Post.'"-' Powell took over Dr. Maghee' 
duties in November. Four days after hi 
left. Maghee returned because his order 
to testify had been countermanded. Dr 
Maghee found that "eight bottles of brandy some whiske; 
and a number of bottles of wine of the hospital stores wen 
consumed. Dr. Maghee also found a pillow and shee 
missing and other pillows and sheets had been "madi 
filthy. "-- 

The amount of alcohol consumed indicated either 
large party or an individual with so many problems that bn 

"* Powell military records. 

" Muriel Blackdeer. An fi/tf/c Blessed Our Home (Minncapolif 

Skandi.sk, 1994). 61. 

-" Ibid; Fort Laramie Post Returns. 

-' Camp Brown Post Record 1875-January 1876. in Box 1, Maghe 

Papers, American Heritage Center; Fort Laramie Posi Returns; Powe 

military records. 

-- Ibid. 



36 



c~iiinniur 



: '-^): 



tried to drown them in a sea of alcohol. Dr. Powell's career 
and marriage both appeared to be on the skids, and 
someone, maybe Dr. Maghee, cau.sed trouble. "The doctor 
is intelligent in his profession, but is so en'atic and dissi- 
pated in his habits as to be totally unreliable." When Dr. 
Powell returned from Camp Stambaugh the army annulled 
his contract. 

Even though the Surgeon General officially "black- 
listed" Frank Powell by the end of 1 875. shortl\ before the 
Custerdebacle in 1 876. eight companies of the 5th Cavalry 
commanded by General Wesley Merritt arrived at Fort 
Laramie and soon left to Join the Big Horn Expedition. 
"Acting Assistant Surgeon Powell" accompanied the 
command, led by Chief of Scouts Buffalo Bill Cody.--' 
How Powell got hired after being "blacklisted" is un- 
known, but after the army annulled his contract, there is no 
record of his activities until June 1876. 

Powell and Cody seem to gravitate together during 
times of trouble. Earlier in 1 876, just before Cody made 
his entrance for the first act of Scouts of the Plains in 
Springfield. Massachusetts, he received a telegram stating 
that his only son Kitty. Kit Carson Cody, lay dying of 
scarlet fever at Cody's home in Rochester, New York. 
Between the first and second acts. Bill apologized to the 
uudience and rushed home to be with his boy. There, he 
found Kitty too sick to talk, but the child put his arms 
around his father's neck "'as if to say 'papa's come'." Kitty 
died in his father's arms April 22.- Bill and Louisa's only 
^on died just as their marriage started to feel the strain of 
Buffalo Bill's public life tugging against Louisa's desire to 
live a private, catholic life.-' 

Powell, too, had the dreams of his youth shattered. His 
vvife had found a barracks bed romance with ""young 
Fyler" and Powell suffered the humiliation of begging 
Favors from superiors only to fail the examination. Powell's 
ivife did not even leave her name for posterity. She only 
eft Frank with a bad memory and the solace of the bottle 
ivhich caused Frank the ultimate professional humiliation 
)f being "blacklisted." 

In the spring of 1877, Frank Powell married 15-year- 
3ld Alberta Brockway in Lanesboro. Minnesota, and .settled 
n LaCrosse. Wisconsin, where he practiced medicine, 
^rom this point on, Powell and Cody began the process of 
ebuilding ""White Beaver's" past in the popular press. 
■^lot only did Powell need to hide his sordid past, but 
because of the popularity of Native remedies it made good 
")usiness sense to promote a romantic, Indian heritage. 

Frank Powell's nickname ""White Beaver." has been 
iiven several origins. Some writers have claimed that 
^owell went into an Indian camp in 1 876 to vaccinate the 



whole tribe for smallpox and was given a robe of sixteen 
white beaver pelts to honor his bravery. Other writers 
have stated that Powell was given the name ""White 

-' Powell imlilarv rrccirds. 
-^ Fort Liiramic Pcisl RcUirns. 

-' Stella Adelyrie Fixile. Lt'llers Frain Biiffala Bill (Billings: Foote 
Pub. Co,. I'-m). I.V Don Russell. The Lives ami Lc'i;e/nh af Biiffcilo 
Bill (Norman: University ol' Oklahoma Press. IWid). 213; ^ost. 
Buffalo Bill. S2-,S.3: Henry Blaekman Sell and Viclor We> bright. 
Buffalo Bill and The Wihl W'esi {^cw York: Oxford Lnnersity Press. 
1955). 108; Riehard J. Walsh and Milton S. Salsbury. The Making of 
Buffalo Bill (New York: Bohhs-Merrill, l'-)2,S). 1X7- 1 XS; Joseph G. 
Rosa and Robin May, Buffilo Bill ami his Wild West (Lawrence: 
University Press of Kansas, 14X4), 5.^-55; Cody. .v^X-3,34. 
-^ Yost, Buffalo Bill. }\b. 

-' William Cody, While Beavei'.s SnII Hum: or the Miner 
Marauder's Dealli-'I'raek (New Wnk. Beable and ,-\danis, 1X44); 
The Wirard Brodiery or White Beiiver Trad (New \t)A. Beadles' 
Dime Novel. #547); Alexander Majors. Sevenf\ Years on the 
Frontier tChicago and New York: Rand. MeNally & Company. 
1X4.3), 317-314; W,B. -Bat" Masterson. -B.id Men and the ' 
Law." The Inter Oeean Ma,i:ci:im. Feb, 2X. 14(14 




Cody (left), an unidentified child and Powell. Photo courtesy ot Area 
Researcti Center, Universilv of Wisconsin, La Crosse 



37 



Wyoming HistoiT Journal 

Beaver" for saving the life of Woo-Noo-Shiek, head chief 
of the Winnebago tribe.-" A more romantic legend has it 
that the Indian in need of Dr. Powell's healing hands was 
the comely daughter of Rocky Bear, chief of the Cut-Off 
Sioux, who bestowed the sobriquet on Dr. Powell.-'' Fi- 
nally, there are some who think there is a bit of truth in all 
of the above but that Frank's nickname "White Beaver" 
came about because he was a member of the Beaver Clan 
of the Seneca Tribe and he had white skin." Regardless of 
how Powell got the nickname "White Beaver, " it stuck, 
and the Winnebago held him in high regard. 

The Winnebago dealt with Powell as a man of power 
and deserving respect, and his status with them that started 
around 1877, lasted for the rest of his life. This may be 
because Dr. Powell often traveled among the Winnebago 
dispensing free medicine and medical advice and he re- 
portedly told the Winnebago, who believed in reincarna- 
tion, that "he had made a mistake being born into the white 
race that he would come back to life among the Indians."" 
After Powell's death, the 5/. Paul Dispatch reported that 
there was a power struggle in the Winnebago tribe to see 
who would succeed Powell as "medicine chief." 

In the June 26, 1880, edition of Harding's Herald 
(Lanesboro, Minnesota.) is printed "The White Beaver's 
Declaration of Independence" signed by "D.F. Powell, 
Medicine Chief of the Winnebago Indians." In his decla- 
ration. Dr. Powell proclaimed that he would openly adver- 
tise his medical practice without "the fear of being branded 
as a quack." Throughout the rest of his life Dr. Powell 
advertised himself and his businesses liberally. In 1882, 
Powell stated that he spent $2,000 in advertising and 
expected to spend $10,000 in 1883.'- His offices in La 
Crosse were marked by large banners, and according to the 
La Crosse Morning Chronicle, Pettibone Island was called 
"Cough Cream Island" by at least one child because of 
Powell's banner emblazoned on it." 

Powell's fear of being considered a quack because of 
his large advertising budget was warranted. By the turn of 
the century Scott's Emulsion and Lydia E. Pinkham's 
Vegetable Compound advertising accounts were each one 
million dollars a year." Powell also ran "medical 
institutes"when he set up practices in Lanesboro. La 
Crosse and St. Paul. Medical institutes were a popular 
front for quacks, and Dr. Powell ' s institute had many of the 
earmarks of a quack's operation. The quacks' institutes 
tended to appear like museums, which Powell's did, and 
quacks "hooked" patients by frightening them of the side 
effects of self abuse, and diseases more social, which 
Powell also did. However, quacks" medical institutes 



38 



rarely existed in one location for longer than a year, whic 
was not the case with Dr. Powell, and unlike Powell the 
rarely provided sound medical services. The line betwee ; 
quack and doctor was a fine one and "the status of medic 
knowledge was little advanced over that of the colonic. 
years, and the status of therapy was, if anything, worse.' 
Dr. Powell had a modern approach to medicine. Unlil< 
many of his contemporaries, he did not feel constrained h 
use only one methodology, but "such methods as ha\ 
commended themselves by experience have been adopte 
as adjuncts to actual medicine in such cases as seei 
reasonable and proper.""' 

In addition, "I claim to possess, and can prove that 
possess, an extraordinary natural development of the pei I 
ceptive faculties, which have been cultivated by systen.i 
atic use until the most minute details of objects, persorii 
and diseases are quickly grasped and permanently fixed i i 
the mind."" When his friend and business partner, Bi 
Cody, gave Powell a testimonial, he wrote. 

He is as good a surgeon as there is in the world today, 

and he cures half his patients without medicine if they 

only knew it., .the long and the short of the whole thing 

is Frank is a natural-bom doctor and don't you forget 

it.'» 

The vast majority of accounts concerning Powell's skill a 

a surgeon are laudatory, and Powell's notoriety as a doctc 

formed the basis of his political career in Wisconsin 

though his unorthodox and flamboyant life often got hin 

in trouble. 

-'* La Crosse Tribune, Nov. 14, 1926; Mary Hardgrove Hebberd, 

Wisconsin Magazine of History (Summer 1952). 307. 

-"Buel. Heroes of the Plains. 548-560; Petey O'Donnell, "The Lift 

and Times of Dr. White Beaver Powell." Wisconsin Trails 

Magazine. July/August 1985. 

'" Soldiers' and Citizens' Album of Biographical Record. 612. 

" Mary Hardgrove Hebberd, Notes on Dr. David Franklin Powell. 

Known as 'White Beaver' (La Crosse: Medical Society, 1966), 17. 

- Morning Chronicle. Jan. 6. 1883. The Morning Chronicle's 

owner and editor was Ellis Usher who liked the Powell brothers 

and wanted them to join the Democratic Party. Usher, Wisconsin'; 

Democratic Chairman, became very hostile to the Powells when 

they remained Populists and then joined the Republican party„ 

However, Usher continued to accept the Powells' money and run 

articles, some of which were written by them, until they became 

polarized by the "sound money issue. 

'' Morning Chronicle, Dec. 22, 1883. 

'■• Young. Toadstool 88 & 104. 

" Young, 36. 

'" De Solo Chronicle, Jan. 8. 1887. 

" Harding's Herald. June 26, 1880. 

'» De Soto Chronicle, Jan. 8. 1887. 



i 



imer 1 W5 



Powell's clinic in La 
Crosse. Wisconsin, 
was lavishly dcco- 
ralcil (riiihl). The 
outside was co\'ereJ 
with advertisini; signs 
(lower photo). 




Phoio courte'-v of Area RcmmivIi CcntL-r. Lni\cisii\ ,.| \\ is 



I... r 




Plioio courlcsN of Murph> Library. Uni\crMi\ of \\ istonsin. La Crosse 



39 



^' voniin^ }li?l 



on' Journal 



Powell's new La Crosse practice succeeded so well 
that within a couple of months after his move in Novem- 
ber. 1 88 1 . he had to double his office space. By the middle 
of 1 882. Powell's success prompted threats against him by 
writers of anon_\ mous notes who often resorted to racial 
and professional slurs. To these Powell replied. "YOU 
COWARDS, come to my face and talk business...! don't 
scare worth a cent."'" On April 14. 1884. the Chicai;(> 
Inter-Ocean reported that a drunken Sioux attempted to 
assassinate the doctor. The details are unclear but it may be 
related to these La Crosse "cowards" or the doctors in St. 
Paul, Minn., who Powell believed, were using any means 
to stop him from expanding his La Crosse practice into St. 
Paul. 

In 1884. in spite of proving that he graduated from 
medical college more than a decade earlier, served in the 
frontier military, taught college anatomy, and ran an 
honorable medical practice, the newly formed Minnesota 
Medical Examining Board rejected Powell's application 
for certification to practice medicine in that state. The 
board's reasons for not accepting Powell's application 
were racially moti\ated. Dr. Powell took the case to the 
Minnesota State Supreme Court and lost."" He then offered 
to send the Medical Examiners his formula if they would 
send him an uncancelled two-cent stamp for postage less 
1/8 for his Indian blood.-" 

Undeterred by the Medical Examiners. Powell opened 
up an office in St. Paul. By October 14 people thronged to 
his office, "some to consult him regarding their ailments 
others to see the man who has pluck enough to defend what 
he considers his professional rights. ""- 

By 1 885. Powell's name had been much in front of the 
public. There were the advertisements for his medical 
practices, mentions of his 1881 acting experience with the 
"Buffalo Bill Combination." the references to him in The 
Prairie VV-'a// and close friendship with Buffalo Bill, his 
fight with the Minnesota Board of Medical Examiners and 
replies to anonymous threats. In 1881, a dime novel 
"signed by Dr. Frank Powell, known as White Beaver" 
UiledTlie Doomed Dozen: or. Dolores the Danite's Daugh- 
ter was published. In addition, in 1 884 Bill Cody wrote a 
series of three novels stamng Frank Powell. The same 
year, J.W. Buel published Heroes of the PUiins with Dr. 
Powell's reworked biography included, and Prentiss 
Ingraham continued to feature the Powell brothers in his 
dime novel inventions. Frank Powell is associated with a 
total of forty dime novels.-" 

On the strength of the wide publicity he was enjoying, 
Powell entered politics back in LaCrosse. On April 4. 



1885, three days before La Crosse's mayoral election, hn 
announced his independent candidacy for mayor. Hi 
popularity, and the promises he and his brother Georgii 
made carried the day. 

Within a week. Mayor Powell made his first move ai 
mayor by firing a policeman who "used scurrilous anc 
malicious language when speaking of the chief executivi 
of the city [Powell]."" Either in spite of its Democratii 
base, or because Powell paid them 1 2-50 cents per line, thd 
Mornini> Chronicle published this statement of support fo 
him after he was elected: 

If people are disposed to call him an Indian we know 
that it is true, his connection with the "first families of 
America" is thereby firmly established and the know- 
nothings ought to be satisfied. The doctor certainly has 
more personal dignity than most of his detractors and 
is in no sense a man discreditable to La Crosse.-" 

Political attacks would continue, but most of the racia 
and all of the medical slander stopped. Indians who wed 
to their "Medicine Chief's" office for treatrnent still hac 
to wait on the sidewalk until all of the white people had left 

During Powell's four terms as mayor he showed ar 
evenhanded treatment for his constituents and a willing 

-" Montiiti; ChrimicU'. .Aug. 30. 1882. 

'" Miiriiiiii; Chronicle. July 23. 1884; Minnesota Medical Examin- 
ing Board Depositions. Nov. 7. 24. 1883. Jan. 16. 23. 25. 1884. 
April 29, 1884; Minnesota Supreme Court Decision #17615. filed 
Oet. 9. 1884. The newly formed State Medical Board did not 
decide what constituted "unprofessional" behavior until its 
meeting on April 29. 1884. six months after they first met to judge 
the qualifications of Powell and those physicians who wanted 
certification to practice medicine in Minnesota. Their job was to 
start the process of weeding out "quacks" who pas.sed through 
Minnesota fleecing its citizens. The board had to establish 
standards and that those standards discriminated against practitio- 
ners, like Powell, w ho operated under the old rules of conduct, 
were unfortunate. Quacks were \ery effective attracting the ill. and 
Powell used many of their methods. In the State Medical board's 
depositions it is Powell's title "the medicine Chief of the 
■Winnebagos" that appears to ha\e bothered the board. 
-" Maniini; ClmviicU: July 23, 1884. 
*- The Day. Oct 11. 1884. 

-" Don Russell. The Lives and Let^ends of Buffalo Bill (Norman: 
University of Oklahoma Press, 1960). 282. 389; 'William Cody, 
White Beaver. The Exile of the Platte: or. A Wronged Man's Red 
Trail (New York: Beadle's Dime Novel, #594): The Wizard 
Brothers: or White Beaver's Trail (New York: Beadle's Dime 
Novel, #597); The Dead Shot Nine: or My Pards of the Plains 
(New York: Beadle's Dime Novel. #599). 
^ MorninK Chronicle. April 17. 1885 
"' Morning Chronicle. April 10. 1885 



40 



J 



I ^)^: 



lesstofight forwhat heth(HiL;ht was right. He occasionally 
ised the mayor's office as a bull) pulpit and often ne- 
rlected his elected responsibilities. White Beaver made 
nany political enemies, but he also made numerous loyal 
riends. L'ntil Powell finally left Wisconsin at the turn of 
hecentury. state political bosses hadtotake Frank Powell's 
Winnebago Vote" into account. 

The mayor was a fiscal conservati\e w ho often gave 
noney and clothes to the poor who came to him m need of 
lelp. A demon when enraged, a puppy with children. 
Vhile Beaver had the trust and affection of many of the 
iimberman. ri\erman. brewers, and other laborers of La 
>osse. Within a year, he and his brothers helped to form 
he Workingman's Party. The Workingman's Party soon 
lecame the Labcir Party, then the L'nion Labor Party, and 
[ley e\entually joined with the Populist's People's Party, 
"hese parties gave Frank identifiable ideological bases to 
i-ork from until he formally cast his lot in with the 
Republicans in KS*^)7. to help defeat the Democrats, and. 
'onically. the People's Party. 

Povsell's first major act as mayor was to throw a party. 
le decided to have an "old time Fourth of July celebration 
-one that v\ili purify the atmosphere, cleanse the blood. 
;gulate deranged bodily functions, and be a jo_\ for- 
ver."" The city council did not agree w ith Powell's grand 
cheme and they wDuld not fund the celebration. Powell 
/as not a man to be thw arted from his goals, and so he paid 
>r the party himself. 

By June 1 6. more than 4. ()()() youngsters had registered 
t Dr. Powell's offices to attend the celebration. Once the 
lembers of the city council saw that the celebration would 
e a success, they offered to pick up the party's tab. but 
Dwell rejected their help and refused hundreds of dollars 
f pri\ ate contributions. Eventually many La Crosse busi- 
esses and civic organizations contributed their ser\ ices. 
ot money, to Mayor Powell's lesson on patriotism. 

"There was never anything like it before and there can 
ever be anything like it again - for the charm of novelty 
ould be lacking e\en if the attempt were made." No 
oubt the "Injun's" party proved to many of its immigrant 
articipants that the American Dream could come true, and 
) the twenty-five thousand people who attended Mayor 
owell's birthday party for America in 1885. it was 
sported that he was "Prince of Childhood" that day and 
lere were no "better classes. "'^ 

A fire destroyed hundreds of homes in La Crosse 
urns and raged in La Crosse's lumberyards during the 
pril 7. 1 886. election. Mayor Powell voted, helped fight 
le fire, and then personally paid to house the displaced 



families. He went to Milwdukee in VLiy to support the 
predominantiv immigrant laborers in their bloody fight for 
economic parity. Wisconsin's Adjutant General requested 
Powell's military record soon after May's Bav View riois 
in Milwaukee on the pietext of seeing, for "census pur- 
poses." if Powell served during the Ci\il War. B\ the 
summer. Powell's supporters had grown to include a 
pluralit) of blue collar workers m Wisconsin.'" 

On the strength of his perceixed support. Powell 
decided to run for governor. He lost a \ icious primar\ tloor 
fight lo Robert .Schilling w ho favcired the moderate gentle- 
man farmer and former "Greenbacker" Col. John 
Cockrane. Powell then refused the coinenlion's draft to 
second the ticket as lieutenant governor. cln)osing instead 
to run for La Crosse's seat in the state senate. The Lii 
Crosse Rcpiihlican und Laulcr urged Republicans to 
defeat Powell who. the Leader slMtd. harbored ambitions 
to be elected by the Wisconsin Senate to the U.S. Senate. 
In October, the Law and Order League, headed b\ La 
Crosse's ministers, added to La Crosse's political excite- 
ment by having a strong push to have the sakuMis closed on 
Sunday by in\oking the puritanical Sunda\ law. Powell 
put off any decisive action until aftei' tiie election because 
he needed the suppiMl o\ both the Law and Order League 
and the tavern owners. In spite of the tactic. Powell and the 
Lnion Labor ticket lost. 

The Law and Order League soon became fed up w ilh 
Powell's inaction. The league employed a special detec- 
tive to obtain e\ idence o'( infractions and they threatened 
to impeach Powell if he did not prosecute the ciffendmg 
la\ern keepers. The mayor ordered Police Chief Clark io 
arrest all persons doing business on Sunday. On November 
7. 1886. police made forty-eight arrests, including the 
owner of the Morniiii; Chroniele. the president of the street 
railway company, people working on their hinises and one 
man buildiuL! a coffin for his recentb deceased child. 



"■ "Wliitc Beiucr Ho^t In lO.OOO Children .il Picnic in USS.s." /.,; 
Cmssc Tnhuin\''\. F-ch. '-). U'.'^d. La Cn>\\v rnhiiiic. March Ih. 
1 '-)(-)!. Miiniiiii; ClinmnU'. Ma\ 24. 2(i. 27. ISS.s; Ripiililmiii ,iii<l 
lAiidfi: May W. KSiS.S; DuiIy Joiinwl. June tx 10, 11. 15. IS. iSS.s, 
^' Lii Crosse Trihuiif and Leadi'i-Press. Ma\ 24. UU2. Muniiiii; 
Chraiiiilf. Jiil_\ 7. I,S(S.S; Rijmhlicait iiiicl Lfadii. Jiilx 1 I. KSS.s; 
Daily Journal. Jufv 4. (i. KSS5 

■" Evenini; Slur. .April 7. KSSh; Daih Journal. Ma> 1. I8S6; ?o\\c\\ 
Mililary Recnrd. F(ir more on MiUsaukee's Ba\ View Riots, see 
Robert C. Nesbil. The Hiswiy oj Wisconsin 8 (Madison: State 
Historical Society of Wisconsin. I98.s). 381-406; Jerry M. Cooper. 
"The Milwaukee National Guard in the Milwaukee Riots of I88fi." 
Wisconsin Matiuzine of Histiny 55 (.Autumn 1971 ). 



41 



Wyoming Histoiy Journal 

Professional church singers were not exempted, but no 
saloons or cigar stores were found open. 

The number of arrests caused a backlog in the courts, 
but Powell's actions put the council in a bind. They were 
forced to commend the mayor's law enforcement efforts."''' 
Powell later issued a notice to the chief of police that stated 
"Having demonstrated to the satisfaction of the commu- 
nity that a continued enforcement of the Sunday law in La 
Crosse would be absurd. You are hereby notified to 
instruct your officers to confine themselves to preserving 
the peace as long established usages and customs re- 
quire.""" The enforcement of the Sunday law stopped. 

Frank Powell did not run for mayor in 1887. His 
brother George ran instead. George, initially the favorite, 
ran a gutter campaign which included personal and politi- 
cal attacks against his brother. George wanted Frank's 
power over La Crosse" s masses and he told the editor of his 
political organ. The Daily Advocate, to "cut Frank's heart 
out," in the newspaper's editorials. As always, brother 
William Powell sided with brother George Powell against 
brother Frank. The sibling free-for-all continued in the 
election day edition of the Morning Chronicle where 
Frank published a two column front page diatribe de- 
nouncing George's fratricide.'' 

After George's upset defeat, Frank took a trip to 
England where Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show was per- 
forming for the celebration of Queen Victoria's Golden 
Jubilee. Naturally, Dr. Powell marketed his patent medi- 
cine while staying there. Cody did not mind. By that point 
he owned half of White Beaver's Cough Cream. A year 
earlier, he had advertised Beaver's nostrum on his act 
curtain during the "Buffalo Bill's Wild West" stay at 
Madison Square Garden. '- 

At that time, Powell and Cody began planning busi- 
ness projects from Indian Hill in La Crosse, to their colony 
of "Paloma" in Mexico. They later started another patent 
medicine business. "Pan-a-malt." None turned out to be 
solid investments. 

Their public bombast did not carry over to their 
personal lives. Powell is mentioned in news articles as 
being a member of Buffalo Bill's entourage, but there is 
little mention of him in Bill Cody's letters, and the Powell 
family left no letters. 

In 1888, the Union Labor Party drafted Frank Powell 
to head their ticket for governor. From the start Frank saw 
the impossibility of winning. "The Charge of the Six 
Hundred was not more hopeless than his prospects of 
election." However, he believed that a solid showing of 
labor would legitimize the Union Labor party, so he ran.- ' 



42 



James Morgan, who led many of the Milwaukee membe 
of the Union Labor party, also wanted the party's nomin 
tion. When Morgan did not get it. he turned on Powell ar 
accepted the Democratic nomination for Governor. It spl ! 
the Labor vote. Powell would not withdraw and the votn 
he controlled would have elected Morgan in the multi 
party race. The result destroyed the Union Labor Party 
Wisconsin. 

Powell moved to St. Paul in 1 89 1 , only to return to L 
Crosse to run for Congress the next year. He ran at tf 
urging of Robert Schilling who had helped start a nation, 
third party, the People' s Party. Schilling knew that Powell 
Winnebago vote would be crucial if the movement were I 
succeed in Wisconsin. Powell lost. Nonetheless, he v/i\ 
back in politics. In 1893, he won the mayoralty of lI 
Crosse again and, the next year, he again tried, unsuccessj 
fully, for the governorship. This time, the attacks from th'i 
La Crosse Morning Chronicle were increasingly barbe(| 
the paper accusing "the Beaver" of using the People | 
party for his personal welfare.'-' | 

By 1 896. the local party organs effectively had unde i 
mined Frank Powell's political power. Joining with h j 
brothers in the Republican Party was the only option le I 
to Frank. He became an active member of the SilvtJ 
Republican Party. The Powell brothers fought amonil 
themselves but they drew together for protection. Thi' 
racial attacks increased and the nativist/racist America;' 
Protective Association spent money in an attempt tl 
diminish their power. William Finch, a leader of Li 
Crosse' s Republicans, remained dubious and sometime' 
openly hostile about the "Injun Doctors" and their follow j 
ers. The Powell boys could knuckle fight and their rival i 
were not always kind: "Dr. Powell is sneeringly referre | 
to by his political opponents as an uneducated, half bree I 
Indian." Powell responded, in kind, by describing Find 
as "a cross between a hermaphrodite and a moral leper." j 

The Voice of the People told the whole story as see 
by the public: "Deserted by the Populists, disdained by tb 
Republicans, and despised by the Democrats, the Beave | 

-'" Morning Chronicle. Nov. 9, 13, 1886; Daily Journal. Nov. 10, 

1886; Weekly Labor Advocate, No\. 12, 1886. 

" Morning Chronicle, Nov. 14. 19, 20, 1886. 

" Morning Chronicle, April 19, 1887; Weekly Labor Advocate, 

March 1.8,22,25,29, 1887. 

" Morning Chronicle. Jan. I. 1887; Jan. 22. 1888. 

" Republican and Leader, July 28, 1888. 

'"' Morning Chronicle. Nov. 4, 6, 1894 

'' Wiscon.sin Weekly Labor Advocate. August 20, 1 886. 



19Q: 



[Powell] has finally located where he belongs in politics. 
His little party... is the last resource of a played out political 
lumbug."'"' 

The 1 897 campaign for mayor started up rumors again 
:oncerning the activities of the Powell brothers. On March 
7. the Momiiiii Chronicle stated that. "'White Beaver' 
ivants the Populist nomination for mayor and his brother 
Night Hawk' wants the nomination for mayor on the 
Republican ticket. If one succeeds and the other fails, the 
oser will have excuse for getting out his scalping knife." 
Neither got their party's nomination. The Populist 
])emocrats took control of the People's Party convention 
ind fused with the regular Democrats by jointly nominat- 
ng a candidate for mayor. The new rulers of the People's 
'arty, a party started in La Crosse by the three Powell 
jrothers. kicked Frank out of the party and denounced him 
IS a base "political trickster." Many of Powell's friends 
valked out of the convention with the members of the 
'eople's Party who objected to fusion. The defectors 
:onvinced Frank to run for Mayor as an independent, and 
"many Populists who were formerly opponents of Powell 
low declare that they will fight under his banner and use 
rvery effort to defeat the Democratic-Populist combine."" 
W.R. Finch's Republicans "trimmed up" George and 
he underhanded way that they were dealt with angered the 
'owell brothers. Like they had done during their transition 
La Crosse more than twenty years earlier, the entire 
Powell brotherhood" stood behind Frank, who with- 
tood his enemies' heated attacks and drew the Populist 
'Ote away from the Democrats to himself and the Repub- 
icans. 

The Democratic Morning Chronicle hammered 
Tank for his breach of faith and the paper stated that 
Tank Powell paid for his supporters' loyalty. Powell 
nade his rebuttal at a rally in the New Union hall on 
^pril 2. 1897, and stated: 

I cannot give money like other candidates includ- 
ing the Prohibition candidate for beer galore. But I will 
say that had I in my pockets to-night the money I have 
paid out for food, medicine and clothing for the poor 
people of this city, I would not ask you into a saloon, 
but 1 would give you a deed in fee simple of a 
brewery." 

Much to the glee of both the Republican and Leader 
nd the Morning Chronicle, Powell lost the election to the 
republican. The Democrats and Populists beat the Powells 
ut both parties were destroyed in the process. 

Before the new mayor could officially take control of 
le city government. State law No. 107S, published April 
7, 1897, Chapter 247, went into effect: 



AN ACT to establish a board of police and fire 
commissioners in the cities of the second and third 
class... It shall be the duty of the mayor of any city, 
subject to the provisions of this act, before the first 
Monday of May, 1897. to appoint four members of 
said board, designating the term of office of each... 

The out-going mayor saw his chance to tweak the no.ses of 
his detractors. From his St. Paul office, and by some 
reports while he was drunk. Mayor Powell filled the board 
as proscribed by the new law just before he completed his 
term of office.'" He chose brother George to head the board, 
which surprised no one, but to second the board, Powell 
turned a lot of heads with the appointment of his old 
nemesis William Finch, "who has had sham rabies over 
the Powells for years.""' 

Frank's appointments made it easy for Night Hawk 
George to "trim up" Finch with intrigues of his own and 
the Powell brothers" revenge against the local politicos 
lasted until July 7, when the Circuit Court ruled that the 
"Winnebago Police Board" was illegal. 

When the Spanish- American war broke out in 1898. 
Powell saw the opportunity to add a military title to his 
credentials. He formed the 7th infantry "Immunes." also 
known as "The Wisconsin Rough Riders." Like Bill 
Cody. Frank inade a number of loud representations about 
going to the front, and like Bill Cody, Frank never went. 
The La Crosse newspapers began refeiring to Powell as 
"Black Beaver." Like Powell, "Buffalo Bill" became the 
object of public scorn. Cody found himself caught in a 
businessman's trap; if he went off to war his massive 
business interests would collapse and he would have hurt 
thousands of people who depended on him for support."" 

Later in the year, the La Crosse Press reported that 
Frank was having trouble with his eyes."' Frank's vision 
problem, that he first received treatment for in 1 888, was 
probably serious becau.se a photo in the Park County 
Historical Society shows him a couple of years later 
squinting heavily. Powell obtained a colonel's commis- 
sion from Governor Schotleld in the beginning of 1899. 
He did not expect to stay in Wisconsin much longer, but the 

'"Reprinted in Morning Chronicle, Oct. 8. 1895. 
" Republican and Leader. March 26, 1897. 
^'Morning Chronicle. July 3, 1897. 
■*" Morning Chronicle. May 16. 1897. 

"" Loose unidentified article, attributed to the St. Louis Globe- 
Democrat in Powell vertical tile, Buffalo Bill Historical Center. 
Cody. 
"' La Crosse Press. Oct. 29, 1898. 



43 



Wvominti Histon' Journal 




Gi'diul EiKaiupmeut. Wyomiuii. M. V. Houghton drawing 



military title would make his transition easier. He stayed 
long enough to deliver his "Winnebago Vote" to the 
Republicans before moving to St. Paul."^ 

Colonel Powell went to Grand Encampment. Wyo- 
ming, sometime in early 1899. with Charlie Freeman. 
Freeman told Powell that. "There is the making of a great 
city in Carbon County. Wyoming, and there is enough 
gold, silver and copper within twenty miles of the place to 
make it a second Denver.""' 

The appearance of Grand Encampment disappointed 
Powell, but by June he was the principal owner, founder, 
and president of "The Copper Giant Gold and Copper 
Company of Grand Encampment. Wyoming." Grand 
Encampment showed great promise. The rapid develop- 
ment caused a shortage of lumber that "presages a lumber 
famine in the near future unless new milling enterprises 
shall promptly appear to relieve the pressure."" 

"Wonderful results obtained from meager develop- 
ments" at the Copper Giant, and the booming local 
economy convinced Powell that Grand Encampment would 



44 



become "the next Denver." and he founded the Nortj 
Fork Lumber Company on April 20, 1900. The companij 
should have been a success. Unfortunately, that summ&j 
theareaexperiencedaseriesof forest fires. On August Hi 
a fire swept down the North Fork of the Encampment Ri ve i 
and burned the North Fork lumber mill and the Coppe 
Giant gold mine to the ground. Two men died. On j 
estimate put the loss to the two properties at a quarter of 
million dollars."' Powell told a La Crosse reporter: "Thi 
country has run me up against a tough proposition. My ol 
bronco has brought me back from a scene of a disaste 
which few men can view with complacency... The saving 
of a lifetime have gone up in smoke. "" 



"- Morning Chronicle. Jan. 4, 12, 1899; Repiihlican and Lender. 

Jan. 13, 1899. 

"-' Grand Encampment Herald. Dec. 3. 1902. 

"^ Grand Encampment Herald, i&n. 12, 1900. 

"" Morning Chronicle. Sept. 4. 1900. 

"" Morning Chronicle. Sept. 11,1 900. 



Colonel Powell was down, but he was not out. Powell's 
;old mine outshone the lumber yard that February when 
he Copper Giant supposedly "hit the jackpot." Like a 
lime novel hero. Powell put his faith in the L;old mine and 
iquidated the North Fork Lumber Company to tree his 
esources tor his principal mining claim. Promises of great 
ortunes backed by small pockets of ore were the only 
iches mined at the Copper Giant. The Copper Giant's 
tock did not sell. By March 14. the asking price fell from 
il .05 to 50 cents per share, and according to The Copper 
landhook, the Copper Giant "'sold considerable stock at 
5 cents per share." Even "'deep pockets" have bottoms, 
nd Colonel Powell's pockets had tew coins remaining. 
Work on the claim became temporarily suspended in 
une when seeping water in the tunnel made work imprac- 
ical. To raise money, the stt)ckholders voteel to change the 
apitali/ation from 600.000 shares to one million shares, 
'he Graiul Enciinipiiwnt Herald reported: 

Col. Cod\. the world rcnuuned Buffalo Bill, has 
heconie the heaviest (outside of Col. Frank Powell) 
stockholder in the Copper Giant Mining Company... 
by placing money enough to the credit of the Copper 



Summer I MWo 

Giant lo run a luunel clear ihroLigh llic Hillside Moun- 
tain 1 1 necessary. 

Buffalo Bill came lo Powell's rescue; it probably cost 

Colonel Cody SbO.OOO."^ 

In the winter of 1 902. the Grand Eneanipnient Herald 

ran a long article on Frank Powell, the early da\s in 

Encampment, and added this ominoLis note: 

The Copper Giani | is| a proposition ahoui w Inch ciinys 
an air of mystery. If one asks Supl. Waterbury what he 
IS finding there, he gi\es some e\ asi ve ansvs er. and the 
Colonel I Powell I refers inquirers lo ihe superinten- 
dent, so there is little satislaction talking to either one 
of them regarding the result of the work up there. 

"' in Cody's will oti-ch, 14. UK)fi, his estate contained 4()().()()() 
shares o\ the Copper ( liaiit Gdld aiul Cupper Com pain . Ci>p\ m 
eolleetioiis ul the Biiiralo Bill Historical Center, Experts miyhl 
ha\c eon\ineed Cod> that the Copper Giant was a good unest- 
iiient. but assay samples taken Irom the Copper Giant's "dump" in 
the summer ol 1441 hy the author and Dan Hausel. a precious 
metals expert lor the Wyoming Geological Sur\e\. showed no 
gold, copper, or silver, Lahoratory Report. GSW I, ah, #41 1 lo.s 
(Laramie: Geological .Survey of Wyoming. 1441), 
"^ Grmnl Eiuampinciu HcniUI. Dee. ."i. 1402, 




din Street. Eneauipineitt. where Col. Powell nivested. Photo eoiirtesr ofAiueriecin Heritofie Center. University oj Wxonunii. 



45 



Wyoming History Journal 

A month later, the same paper reported that the Copper 
Giant was in paydirt. Because of this development, Powell 
and Cody stated that they planned to construct a stamp mill 
on the North Fork of the Encampment River in the spring."' 
However, physical evidence and contemporary stories of 
the North Fork area would indicate that nothing ever got 
built. 

In September, Cody was suffering from poor health. 
He needed the assistance of Dr. Powell's healing hands. 
The doctor went to England to cure his famous friend. 
Cody wrote Julia that "I am getting better every day. I tell 
you Dr. Powell is the best Doctor on earth. "'^" 

After the 1903 tour ended in November, Bill Cody 
came to Grand Encampment to inspect the mine. Buffalo 
Bill said relatively little about the Copper Giant, but he did 
state that "It takes capital to build up Wyoming and we 
have to keep the ball rolling."" 

Immediately after his visit to the Copper Giant, Cody 
returned to his town of Cody, Wyoming, and met with his 
friend Frank Powell. The sub-zero weather did not stop the 
two friends from taking a hunt at Cody's TE ranch during 
which they discussed the future. As a later author com- 
mented on the hunting trip: "The Col. went up to his TE 
Ranch in the mountains, where, as he explained to Julia, he 
had greater peace of mind and it was there where he felt 
nearer to God."'- 

Two days after they arrived in the area, the Cody 
Enterprise reported that Dr. Powell, "one of the brainiest 
men in the entire west" was thinking about taking up 
residency in town. Uncharacteristically, Powell declined 
to give a speech." The reason for his unaccustomed silence 
became apparent on January 1, 1904, when a forfeiture 
notice appeared in the Grand Encampment Herald againsl 
Frank Powell for $100 "in labor and improvements upon 
the Black Gracie lode mining claim," part of the Copper 
Giant.'" After the notice ran in paper for the legally 
required length of time, the Copper Giant disappeared 
from the newspaper's columns. 

Sometime near the end of 1903, Frank Powell did 
move to Cody where he was to manage Buffalo Bill' s great 
new "Wonderland Development Corporation" valued at 
$5,000,000. In addition, Powell bought and sold horses for 
Cody and became a semi-retired gentleman." 

Buffalo Bill's marriage, weak for a number of years, 
began unraveling in 1905 with the filing of divorce pro- 
ceedings. Powell added to the squabble when he gave his 
fanciful version of a fight between Bill and Louisa that 
supposedly took place on their way to their daughter Arta' s 
funeral. In his decision, Judge Scott discounted Powell's 



testimony, and in July, Cody telegraphed Powell to drc 
the suit.'" Three days later Bill wrote to Julia about "havh 
hard times now," and that he would like to retire in fr 
years like "all my old Army friends retire. Oh, Bro Frar 
will retire with me and if he and I haven't a home and som 
money to live on, by that time, we are no good."" 

The friends did not have a chance to share retireme 
together. In October, Powell had a major heart attack aft 
returning from a horse buying trip to St. Louis. In 
November, he lingered on death's door in his sick room 
the Irma Hotel. People wondered if Dr. Powell would d 
before Colonel Cody would return from the 1905 tour ; 
December. According to Powell's nurse, he repeated' 
stated that, "I'm not going to die. I'm going to live unt j 
my brother comes if I die the next day?[sic]"™ WheJ 
Colonel Cody finally arrived home "Tears stood in tH 
eyes of both of these old frontiersmen as the colonel stoc 
by Dr. Powell's bedside and grasped his emaciated hand.' I 

Perhaps it would have been more pleasing poeticalltj 
if Frank had died during that touching scene. He did no'i 
For some unknown reason, Powell had a fight with Buffal 
Bill. The exact circumstances are unknown, but the I 
dissolved their death pact to be buried on two mountairj 
so that their spirits could guard the approaches to Bill'! 
town of Cody. The two men who shared a spiritual bonir 
parted under a cloud."" i 

On May 6, 1 906, while on an eastbound train from Lo' 
Angeles, where he intended to relocate for his health, D <\ 
David Franklin Powell died of a heart attack near El Pas( ' 
Texas. It is appropriate that the funeral party from the tow 
of Cody that took Dr. Powell's ashes to the top of Re> 
Butte, Frank' s chosen burial site, were drunk and his ashe. 
fell out of the mule's pack. The ashes were not missed untj 



"'' Grand Encampment Herald. Jan. 2.-!, 1903. 

'" Foote, Letters. 57 

" Grand Encampment Herald. Nov. 13, 1903. 

'- Foote, Letters. 55 

" Cody Enterprise, Nov. 19, 1903. 

'" Grand Encampment Herald, Jan. 1, 1904. 

" Cody Enterprise, Dec. 17, 1903. 

'"' Cody Enterprise, July 13. 1905; Grand Encampment Herald, 

July 14, 1905; Cody Divorce transcripts, Wyoming State Archives 

Cheyenne. 

" Foote. Letters. 63. 

"^ Wyotning Stockgrower and Farmer. Nov. 29, 1905. 

™ Wyoming Stockgrower and Farmer, Dec. 6, 1905. 

"" Letter, Mrs. "Johnny" Baker to W.J. Koch, Sept. 28, 1950; 

letter. Millard J, Smith, M.D. to Koch, July 1 1, 1960. 



46 



: W5 



:he party reached the summit. A tracker backtrailed the 
ourial party's route and most of them were found and 
jroperly interred." 

Buffalo Bill and his blood-brother Powell became the 
^ubiectsof writer's historical inventions that in many ways 
-lecame the facts of their lives. Cody used the facts that 
<upported his incredible stature as a frontiersman to create 
1 pageant of the American Western frontier that educated 
he public about his ideals. His lessons remain ingrained 
n America's collective cultural conscious, in order for 
^rank Powell to be worthy of being Buffalo Bill's best 
riend, they created "White Beaver." Both entities be- 
■ame commercial propositions that took off and turned on 
heir creators, but one of the indisputable facts about David 
^ranklin "White Beaver" Powell. M.D.. Medicine Chief 
)f the Winnebago, is that less than a decade after Custer's 
lefeat at the Little Big Horn, the people of La Crosse. 
Wisconsin's second largest city at that time, elected a 
lotorious "Injun" for their mayor. 

Frank Powell and Bill Cody, however, were not alone 
vhen they used the West for personal gain. Many of their 
ontemporaries such as Charlie Russell. Fred Remington. 
)wen Wister. and Theodore Roosevelt also exploited the 
lublic's fascination with the settlement of the West - the 
ebirth of a nation maimed by a terrible ci\il war. 

"White Beaver" Powell and "Buffalo Bill" Cody 
v-ere business partners in several enterprises that either 
ailed or never got off the ground. Buffalo Bill rewrote 
'rank Powell's sordid past, financially backed White 
leaver and gave him a home and a dignified exit when 
rank needed it most. Frank Powell reciprocated. Powell 
nd Cody's friendship grew from a mutual love for their 
illow human and a desire to contribute to the development 
f their country - they did their best within the confines of 
leir tumultuous culture. 

Self-important scoffers continually pick at "Buffalo 
lill" and "White Beaver" because they are easy targets; 



it makes a small person feel equal or superior to them, 
without having to live up to their standards or acknowl- 
edge their compassion for their fellow being. A person 
who attended Powell's Fourth of July Picnic in 1SX5 said. 
"Time and again I have seen him hug little colored boys 
and girls, and papooses and dirty faced little urchins 
playing in the streets. Neither race, nationality nor condi- 
tion of clothing or face made any difference to the doct()r 
- he simply lined them all and showed no discrimination. - 

Annie Oakley's eulogy for her friend Bill Cody might 
also apply to his friend Frank Powell. It may seem strange 
that after the wonderful success attained that he should 
have died a poor man. But it is not a matter of wonder to 
those who knew him and worked with him. The same 
qualities that assured success also insured his ultimate 
poverty. His generosity and kind-hearted attitude toward 
all comers, his sympathy and his broad understanding of 
human nature, made it the simplest thing possible to 
handle men... 1 never saw him inany situation that changed 
his natural attitude a scintilla. None could piissibly tell the 
difference between his reception of a band of cowboys and 
the train of an emperor... a teepee or a palace were all the 
same to him. and so were their inhabitants."' 

It has been stated that a person who dies and lea\'es two 
blades of grass where on their birth only one existed has not 
lived in \ain - Buffalo Bill and White Beaver left lawns. 



"' Pioneer Cemetery and Grave Invent(ir\ Form; iinpuhlishcd 

article, "Where Rests Major Povxell';" taped inters icu ot Jack 

Richard, all held in the collections of the Park Countv Historical 

Society, Cody, Wyoming. 

*'■ Iai Cmssf Tiihiiiie. March Ui. I^hl, quoting ".A Bo\ ot ISM.s" 

who wrote his memories of Dr. Powell for the Mi'iiiiiii; ChninicU- 

on July 4. (') I9l.s. 

"' As quoted bv Isahelle .Savers, Aiinu- Oaklc\ iiiiil Biitjalo Bill's 

Willi West iNew York: Dover Publications, IMSl ). 



Author Eric V. Sorg holds a ma.sters degree in Ameri- 
can Studies from the University of Wyoming. He has 
appeared internationally performing his one-man show 
"Cody! An Evening with Buffalo Bill." He has ap- 
peared at such mu.seums as the Buffalo Bill Historical 
Center, the Amon Carter Museum, the National Cow- 
boy Hall of Fame, and the Gene .\utry Western Heri- 
tage Museum. Sorg has published on Dr. Powell in 
popular magazines and is completing work on a full- 
length biography. 



47 




"Woman fishina in W\oniinc river." (n.d.) Charles Belden Collection. Anieriean Heritace Center 



Announcing the 1996 Wyoming 
Historical Calendar! 

Published this year by the Wyoming State Historical Society, in 

cooperation with the Annerican Heritage Center, University of Wyoming, 

the calendar takes a month-to-month look at the history of outdoor 

recreation in Wyoming with photographs of mountain climbers, 

hunters, tourists, and other adventurers. 

Featured this year are the photographs of well-known Wyoming 

photographers Charles Belden and Steven Leek. 

The calendar includes a brief "anniversary" for every day of the year. 



The 1996 Wyoming Historical Calendar is $5.95 plus post- 
age and handling (Wyoming residents should include sales 
tax). Proceeds from the calendar go to the Wyoming State 
Historical Society to fund Society projects. 
Order from your local chapter or write to: 

Wyoming State Historical Society 
1740H184 Dell Range Blvd. 
Cheyenne WY 82009 



'yommg 

History Journal 



Autumn 1995, Vol. 67, No. 2 



^^-' 









•,-.-/5^..^'.',' ". 












i-3?*- 



■'E^^-i-x^^^^?^'. ■ -ii.-' "^ -''-*■ ^-'-^ <?^^.^-"'>. ''i?£V^^*T^^ *^^S-.'.-^_-^— -C ■_ '^ i^ -■ -^- '-.^-^ --- 




Important Information 

about your Wyoming State 

Historical Society 



Wyoming State Historical Society dues have gone 
up. There are several reasons, but the biggest 
factor is the decision by Wyoming's state govern- 
ment not to continue participation in the coopera- 
tive relationship that has existed between the state 
and the society since 1953. 

While the dues increase may seem substantial, it's 
important to remember that Wyoming State His- 
torical Society dues are still among the very lowest 
in the region, and the benefits of membership are 
substantial. 

*Wyoming History Journal: Your state historical 
society has committed to the production of the 
journal as a quarterly. This isn't a casual undertak- 
ing. The printing and mailing of a quality journal 
requires a significant investment. And remember 
this: The existence of Wyoming History Journal 
encourages research, interpretation, and preser- 
vation of Wyoming history that might otherwise be 
lost. 

*Wyoming History News: Your state historical 
society took over production of the organization's 
newsletter five years ago and continues the publi- 
cation because it provides current information 
about the activities of chapters around the state, it 
recognizes the achievements and contributions of 
individual members, and it alerts members to 
upcoming history-related events. It also provides a 
forum through which you can network with others 
across the state and the region to obtain informa- 
tion for your research projects. As a member you 
have received ten issues of Wyoming History 
News every year and that will continue in the year 
ahead despite increases in paper and mailing 
costs. 

*Hlstory Treks & Events: Each year your state 
historical society stages a summer trek to places of 
historical interest, and an annual meeting where 



presentations and discussions of Wyoming history 
topics are featured. In recent years members have 
retraced the Oregon Trail from Green River cross- 
ing to Fort Bridger, participated in a symposium 
featuring some of the most notable researchers on 
the history of Butch Cassidy, visited the places 
where the Johnson County Cattle War took place, 
and stood on the site where Willie Nickel died after 
being shot, allegedly by Tom Horn. Next year's 
trek will take members to Newcastle and the site of 
the Cambria Mine, one of the most colorful chap- 
ters in Wyoming's rich mining history. 

*History Awards: Your state historical society's 
annual awards program provides recognition for 
people who are doing something to preserve and 
interpret local and state history. Such awards 
provide an incentive and a reward. In fact, more 
than $10,000 has been awarded in the last five 
years and most of that has gone to society chap- 
ters like yours for history projects that otherwise 
would not have been done. Your membership in 
the state historical society gives you the opportu- 
nity to insure that such awards will continue. 

*Wyoming History Day: Hundreds and hundreds 
of Wyoming school children participate each year 
in history projects and compete at district, state, 
and national history day events. Through these 
activities they develop an appreciation of the im- 
portance of history that will be a part of them for the 
rest of their lives. It was the state historical society 
that started the event in Wyoming, and it is the 
state historical society that provides the majority of 
the financial support needed to continue Wyoming 
History Day. Your membership in the state histori- 
cal society helps Wyoming's young people con- 
tinue their study and understanding our state's 
history. 

(Continued on page 48) 



Co-Editors 

Rick Ewig 

Phil Roberts 

Special Features Editor 

Peg Tremper 

Editorial Assistants 

Peg Arnold, Greg O'Brien 

Interns 

Misty Clearwater, Earl Pursley, 

Jane Storsteen 

Wyoming State Historical Society 
Officers, 1994-1995 

Maggi Layton, President 

Riuerlon 
Glen Morris, First Vice President 

Kemmerer 
Patty Myers, Second Vice President 

Buffalo 
Sherry Taylor, Secretary 

Casper 
Rick Ewig, Treasurer 

Laramie 

Board of Editors 

Barbara Allen Bogart 

Euanston (1996) 
Don Hodgson 

Torringlon (1996) 
Lawrence M. Woods 

Worland (1996) 
T. A. Larson 

Laramie (1997) 
John D. McDermott 

Sheridan (1997) 
Ann Moble 

Cora (1997) 
Thomas F. Stroock 

Casper (1997) 
David Kathka 

Rock Springs (1998) 
William H. Moore 

Laramie (1998) 
Sherry Smith 

Jackson (1998) 

WSHS Publications Committee 

Maggi Layton, Chair 

Riuerlon 
Michael Cassity, 

Laramie 
Walter Edens, 

Laramie 
Loren Jost, 

Riuerlon 
David Kathka, 

Rock Springs 
Phil Roberts, 

Laramie 




ipinmg 

History Journal 



'Ifw Joumaf of tlie 'U'yornin(j State '.HL^toricaf Societij 
Autumn 1995 'VoL 67, '?io. 2 

Benefits of Society Membership Inside Front 

"My One Hobby": Grace Raymond Hebard and ji .; .i^t - 
Americanization in Wyoming 

By Frank Van Nuys 

Dr. Hebard taught and wrote history, but she also played an important role 

in the "Americanization movement" in Wyoming in the early part of thisj \ 5 19^*^ 

century. She called her work in this area "perhaps most precious. " 



lCFJVED 



Last of the Mammoth Contracts: , -Jf" 

The Construction of the Aspen Tunnel ./i,'^ ■ 1^ 

By Walter R. Jones ' " ' """^ 

Completing the Aspen Tunnel was a technological feat that took nvo years, 
resulted m the death of at least eleven workers from accidents directly 
related to the project's construction, and cost $12,000,000. 

Closing the Fort Washakie Hospital 

A Case Study in Federal Termination Policy 36 

By Mike Mackey 

Politicians from both parlies were drawn into the effort to keep the re sencit ion's 
hospital open in the early 1950s. 

Book Reviews 43 

Reviews by William H. Moore. Margot Liberty. Ann Noble and Francois Dickman 

Wyoming People in History: Lillian Heath Nelson 46 

By Larry K. Brown 

Cover Art 

"Green River-Rocky Mountains and Railroad Bridge," illustration from The Union 
Pacific Railroad: A Trip Across the North American Continent from Omaha to 
Ogden. a Nelsons' Pietorial Guide Book (ca. 1870). 



Wxoiiinig Hisiiin J<nimal is published by the Wyoming Stale Histoncal Society in cooperation with the 
Amencan Rentage Center. University ofWyoniing.and the Department of History. University of Wyoming 
The journal v^as formerly known as the Quarterlx Bulletin ( \'^2'S-2fi). Annals of Wxommg { 1925-1993) and 
Wyoming Annals ( 1 993- 1 99.S). The journal has been the official publication of the Wyoming State Histoncal 
Society since 1 9.S3 The Co-Editors of W\i>mmg Hisitin, Jounuil welcome manuscripts on every aspect of 
Wyoming and Western history. Authors should submit manuscnpts on diskettes utilizing Word Perfect. 
Microsoft Word or ASCII text, and two copies double-spaced hard copy to: Wyoming History Jounuil. P O 
Box 4256, University Station, Laramie, WY 82071, Manuscnpts should conform to A Manual of Sr\le 
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Historical Abstracts and America: Historx and Life. 

Copyright Wyoming State Historical Society 1995 



My One Hobby: 
prace Raymond Hebard 
and Americanization in 
Wyoming 



By Frank Van Nuys 



Dr. Hebard and unidentified student American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming 



Autumn 1^95 



Of all Qrace Hebard's accomplishments, she reportedly valued 
her Americanization work as "perhaps most precious." 



A highly ironic and bemusing scene may have 
entertained the Sisters at St. Mary's Convent in Notre 
Dame. Indiana, in the winter of 1 924; namely, the sight 
of one of the nuns leafing through the February issue of 
Today 's Housewife magazine. History does not record 
where and how the good Sister perused this seemingly 
inappropriate publication, nor are those questions impor- 
tant. Fortunately, a letter from Sister M.Veronica to Dr. 
Grace Raymond Hebard of the University of Wyoming 
tells why — perhaps — the nun was particularly interested in 
such an irrelevant piece of literature. "I saw an account of 
your fine work in Americanization in Today 's Housewife 
for February," she informed Dr. Hebard. "and it inspired 
me with a desire to do some such work as you are doing 
inthatline." 

That Dr. Hebard" s efforts in Americanization — the 
educating of immigrants in American history, politics, 
ideals and the English language in preparation for natu- 
ralization — brought her national renown during and after 
World War I is unusual. Wyoming had very few immi- 
grants, in marked contrast to states such as New York or 
California. Nonetheless, Hebard" s prowess as a maker of 
Americans made her a model for many other native-bom 
Americans, like Sister M. Veronica in Indiana, who, 
whether in the interest of wartime patriotism or post- war 
nativistic an.xiety. sought to create a more predictable, 
homogeneous America. 

Of all Grace Hebard" s accomplishments, which in- 
cluded service on the University of Wyoming Board of 
Trustees, a Ph.D. from Illinois Wesleyan University, 
admission to the Wyoming bar, the authorship of several 
historical monographs and textbooks, directorship of the 
university's department of political economy, and the 
marking of historical sites throughout the state, she 
reportedly valued her Americanization work as "perhaps 
most precious. ""The inspired Sister could not fail to note. 
as a Wyoiniiii;News testimonial expressed in 1 935, that 
Dr. Hebard" s "certificates of preparation for naturaliza- 
tion were accepted by the United States District Court in 
lieu of examinations for citizenship.""- That sort of clout 
suggests that Grace Hebard" s Americanization enterprise 
beginning in 1916 deserves some scrutiny. While the 
evidence of her work is fragmentary, it nonetheless places 
Hebard within an essentially progressive tradition of 
qualified optimism about immigrants" ability to assimi- 
late to Anglo- American culmral norms. At the same time, 
her long-held ideological assumptions about immigrants, 
especially the "new"" immigrants from southern and 



eastern Europe, led her to express extreme concern — 
altogether typical of American opinion makers and politi- 
cal leaders during the World War I era — about speeding 
up the assimilative process. 

While Dr. Hebard"s involvement with Americaniza- 
tion in Wyoming began relatively late in her career, 
evidence of her interest in educating immigrants dates 
from at least 1 896, when she published an article titled 
"Immigration and Needed Ballot Reform"" in The Illi- 
nois Wesleyan Maiiazine. "The danger which threatens 
us,"" she warned, "is the growth m our population of a 
large foreign element whose habits of thought and behav- 
iorare radically different from those which the founders 
of the nation hoped to establish."" 

This contention that "Southern and Eastern Europe- 
ans"" lacked the necessary requisites to simply ease into 
the American social and economic order w ithout some- 
how disrupting it constituted conventional wisdom in the 
1 890s. Notably, Hebard cited the famed economist and 
statistician Francis Amasa Walker, whose writings dur- 
ing that decade gave intellectual credence to nati vists for 
years to come. She expressed as well the very common 
alarm that this class of immigrants, while certainly 
possessed of some desirable individuals, had a tendency 
to produce anarchists and rebels. Yet Hebard. convinced 
of the transforming powers of education, suggested a 
means to forestall otherwise inevitable and irrevocable 
damage to the republic. Thus she concluded. 

the only way in u hich wc can protect ourseU es is to 
educate this heterogeneous mass, so bimd to the duties of 
patriotism that they are unable to distinguish the red Hag. 
typical of society unregulated tiy any principles of govern- 
ment, from the red. white and blue — a perfect national 
emblem. We must change this mass into a homogeneous 
population, and this can be accomplished only by grafting 
into the hearts of the aliens who have determined to make 
these lands their lands, the highest conception of citizenship, 
the reverence for a constitution which gives them their 
liberties."'-^ 



'SisterM. VeronicatoGraceRaymondHebard, March 14. l924,Grace 
Raymond Hebard papers. Box .^5. American Heritage Center, Univer- 
sity of Wyoming (hereafter cited as Hebard papers), 
- The Wxoining News, August 3. 1*^35, clipping in Box 35. Hebard 
papers; see also Cora M. Beach, VVo/Jic/i o/'Wvommg (Casper. Wyo.: 
S.E. Boyer&Co., 1927). 122. 

' Grace Raymond Hebard, "Immigration and Needed Ballot Refonn." 
Tlie Illinois Wesleyan Magazine. October 1 896. 230. in box 33. Hebard 
papers; for Francis Amasa Walker's views see his Discussions in 
Economics and Statistics. 2 vols., ed. Davis R. Dewey (New York: 
Henry Holt & Company. 1899). 



Wyoming Histon' Journal 

Dr. Hebard" s sentiments in the mid- 1 890s coincided 
with a growing movement, centered in the big cities of the 
northeast and midwest, to indeed assimilate immigrants 
through intensive education in American history, poH- 
tics, and ideology. 

When so defined as an "educative movement." 
Americanization, according to political scientist Edward 
George Hartmann in his 1948 study, implied "a positive 
program" in contrast to other nati vist movements of the 
late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. American- 
ization also reflected the more hopeful reform impulses 
embodied in the Progressive movement. Its leadership 
drawn typically from academia. business, and civic 
groups. Americanization stressed "education and guid- 
ance" rather than "restriction or repression" in meeting 
the challenges posed to the nation by increasing immigra- 
tion from southern and eastern Europe. Successful inte- 
gration of these presumably "less desirable" Europeans 
into a presumably Anglo-American culture promised 
economic and political stability as well as a valuable labor 
supply and Americanizers generally expressed optimism 
concerning the immigrants" "ultimate assimilative capa- 
bilities." Moreover, they earnestly desired to assimilate 
the immigrants as rapidly as possible "through the 
attendance of the newcomers at special classes, lectures, 
and mass meetings, where they might be instructed in the 
language, the ideals, and outlook on life which had come 
to be accepted as the traditional American point of 
view."-* 

Immigrant night classes, typically operated by setde- 
ment house refonners and social workers, began appear- 
ing in larger cities in the first decade of the twentieth 
century . Similar operations sprang up in labor camps and 
some non-urban areas. Soon thereafter, patriotic organi- 
zations, starting with the National Society of Colonial 
Dames of America, whose Illinois chapter established a 
University ofChicago scholarship in 1904 for training 
Americanizers. took the lead in immigrant education. The 
National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, 
as another example, formed a Committee on Information 
for Aliens, which published leaflets meant to aid newly- 
arrived immigrants. Quickly superseding and often coor- 
dinating the efforts of the patriotic organizations, the 
North American Civic League for Immigrants became, 
with its organization in New York City in 1 907, the "first 
of the active Americanization groups." Explicitly 
nonsectarian and composed primarily of "progressive 
business elements," the North American Civic League 
for Immigrants concerned itself with the efficiency and 
comportment ofthe immigrant labor force. The League 
organized immigrant aid centers at its base in Boston, as 
well as in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Ange- 



les, and other towns in the northeast. It also prodded 
expanded Americanization efforts from public schools 
and provided lectures and pamphlets.^ 

In 1 907, New Jersey became the first state to autho- 
rize school boards to direct evening classes for immi- 
grants, establishing a precedent for growing government 
involvement. The exhaustive studies conducted by the 
Federal Immigration Commission furthered the trend for 
states with large concentrations of foreign-bom residents 
to create agencies to address immigration-related prob- 
lems. New York State" s Bureau of Industries and Immi- 
gration, the California Commission of Immigration and 
Housing, and similar bodies in New Jersey. Massachu- 
setts, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island endeavored to 
investigate conditions and suggest legislation as well as 
to propose and in some cases implement Americanization 
programs.'' 

Meanwhile, industrialists in the northeast, in alliance 
with the North American Civic League for Immigrants, 
hoped to influence immigrant workers away from radical- 
ism. They, like the patriotic organizations and govern- 
ment commissions, believed "that some sort of program 
for educating the immigrant, particularly in the funda- 
mentals ofthe English language and civics, would be the 
best means of solving the many evils supposedly arising 
from his entrance upon the American scene. "^ Conse- 

■* Edward George Hartmann. The Movement to Americanize the 
Immigrant {New York: Columbia University Press, 1 948; reprint. New 
York: AMS Press, Inc., 1967), 7-8; see also Robert A. CarLson. 
"Americanization as an Early Twentieth-Century Adult Education 
Movement," History of Education Quarterly 1 (Winter 1 970): 440- 
64, which concentrates on the distinctions and relationships between 
humanitarian, social control, and efficiency concepts in Americaniza- 
tion; John F. McClymer. "The Americanization Movement and the 
Education ofthe Foreign-Bom Adult." in AmfnrtH?£rfHfflnVi/ia/i(/r/;e 
European Immigrant: 1840-1940, ed. Bernard J. Weiss (Urbana: 
University of Illinois Press, 1982), 96-1 16, qualifies Hartmann's 
sanguine interpretation considerably by arguing that Americanizers 
politicized cultural differences through their rigid definitions of 
loyalty. Another interpretation emphasizes Americanizing influences, 
often of aradical bent, that immigrantsderived from iheirown working- 
class culture. See James R.Barrett. "Americanization from the Bottom 
Up: Immigration and the Remaking ofthe Working Class in the United 
States, 1880-1930," Journal of American History 79 (December 
1992):996-1020. 

^ Hartmann, 24-63. Chicago's Immigrants' Protective League, orga- 
nized in 1 908, provided services similar to those offered by the North 
Amencan Civic League. See Ri vka Lissak, "Liberal Progressives and 
'New Immigrants': The Immigrants' Protective League ofChicago, 
\9Qi-\9\9r Studies in American Civilization 32 (1987): 79-103. 
''Hartmann, 36, 64-87. 

' Ibid., 88-96, quote on 24. There are a number of important studies 
of workplace Americanization; see, for instance, Gerd Korman, 
"Americanization at the Factory Gate," Industrial and Labor Rela- 
titms Review 18(1 965 ): 396-4 1 9 and Stephen Meyer, "Adapting the 
Immigrant to the Line: Americanization in the Ford Factory, 1914- 
1 92 1 ," Journal of Social History 14(1 980): 67-82. 



quently, corporate involvement in "industrial Anierican- 
ization" developed steadily alter 1910, overseen to some 
extent by the Committee on Immigration of the U. S. 
ChamberofCommeree. Although obviously lacking an 
industrial economy on the order of many northeastern and 
midwestern states, Wyoming, as indicated by the Immi- 
gration Commission's survey of immigrant miners in 
Sweetwater and Uintacounties. possessed similar prob- 
lems. At the seven coal and coke mines studied by the 
Commission, nearly 86 percent of the employees were 
foreign-born, with a "large 
percentage" from southern 
and eastern Europe. "Only 
about half of the foreign- 
born of non-English-speak- 
ing races," the commission 
reported, "speak English, 
and of those who are eligible 
in point of race and residence 
only about one-third have be- 
come citizens." Implied. | 
though not explicitly ex- p 
pressed in the report, is the ^ 
presumption that immigrant B 
workers "slow to learn En- s 
glish" and even slower to d 
become naturalized made up | 
a combustible, potentially ^ 
radical element in southwest- | 
ern Wyoming's mines. '^ x 

The shared concerns of 5 
patriotic organizations, gov- i 
ernment entities, and busi- 
nessmen drove the continu- 
ing centralization of the 
Americanization movement 
between 1910 and 1914. the 
year in which the New York- 
New Jersey Committee of the North American Civic 
League for Immigrants changed its name to the Commit- 
tee for Immigrants i n America. The Committee, soon to 
become "the general consulting headquarters for immi- 
grant and Americanization work throughout the coun- 
try," provided the impetus, as well as initial funding and 
staffing for the newly-created Division of Immigrant 
Education in the Department of Interior's Bureau of 
Education. In addition, the Department of Labor's Bu- 
reau of Naturalization, in con junction with various public 
schools around the country, began sponsoring citizenship 
education in 1914 and holding discussions "upon a 
proposed nation-wide plan for citizenship preparedness 



Dr. Hehard poses with "a Genmiii. ciii Inshnuui. 
and an Englishiiuin. "oiitsiJe the Albany County 
Courthouse, following their naturalization on 
MarehH.1917. 



Allium II 1QQ5 
through the Americanization of the resident alien body." 
In preparing her citizenship courses. Dr. Hehard relied to 
a considerable extent upon publications produced by 
these official Americanization bodies.'' 

With the outbreak of war in Europe in the autumn of 
1914, interest in Americanization, helped along by suspi- 
cions of immigrant disloyalty . began taking on attributes 
of a national public crusade. Propagandizing on behalf of 
the warring nations by immigrant groups exacerbated the 
suspicions, though the actions of the German government 

and assertive Gemian- Ameri- 
can organizations combined 
to bring most of the nativist 
w rath crashing upon the heads 
of many Americans of Ger- 
man descent. Attacks on the 
"Hyphen." defined by 
Hartmann as "one who put 
the interests of his former 
homeland before those of his 
adopted country." combined 
with exhortations about pre- 
paredness to lend a national- 
istic tlavor to the American- 
ization movement. Former 
President The(Kli)re Rixisevelt 
boisterously led the rhetori- 
cal assault on "those e\il 
enemies of America, the hy- 
phenated Americans." Care- 
ful to qualify his remarks on 
behalf of loyal Americans of 
foreign birth. Roosevelt none- 
theless w tirned of dire conse- 
quences should the United 
States "become a tangle of 
squabbling nationalities, an 
intricate knot of German- 
Americiins. Irish- Americans. English- Americans. French- 
Americans. Scandinavian- Americans, or Italian- Ameri- 

'"HartriKinn, 146-53; Reports ol the I mnilyration Commission, //;!;?)/- 
grams in Industries. Part 25: Japanese and Other Immigrant Races in 
ihe Pacific Coast and Rocky Mountain Slates, vol. 3, 6 1st Cong., 2d 
sess.. S. Doc. 633, serial 5684-3 (Washington: GPO, 1911), 279-92. 
327-40, 665-69, quotes on 28 1 . 292. 

'^ Hartmann, 97- 1 ()4, quotes on 97, 1 03 ; McCly mer. " Amencanization 
Movement and Education," 99-103; McClymer. "The Federal Gov- 
ernment and the Americanization Movement, 1915-1 924." Prologue: 
The Journal of the Notional Archives 10 (Spring 1978): 22-^1; see 
Naturalization vertical files, folder 3, American Heritage Center 
(AHC). for Committee for Immigrants in America and Bureau of 
Education publications. 




Wyoming History Journal 

cans." Meanwhile, in his many speeches on national 
preparedness. President Woodrow Wilson repeatedly 
stressed the need for unqualified allegiance to the coun- 



try 



10 



In the midst of the anti-hyphenate and preparedness 
rhetoric in 1 9 1 5- 1 9 1 6, the education of the immigrant 
became an even larger concern. The Bureau of Naturaliza- 
tion further centralized Americanization training through 
the public schools, kicking off its ambitious nationwide 
program at a reception in Philadelphia. President Wilson, 
in his "Too Proud to Fight" speech given to several 
thousand freshly naturalized citizens at the event, admon- 
ished: "You cannot dedicate yourself to America unless 
you become in every respect and with every purpose of 
your will thorough Americans." Proper guidance by 
properly trained Americanizers would hopefully assure 
that immigrants would soon appreciate Wilson's conten- 
tion that "America does not consist of groups."" 

Likewise, opinion molders in Wyoming, whether 
aware of the Bureau of Naturalization' s program or not, 
harped on the theme of teaching immigrants to discard 
their Old World ways and become unadulterated Ameri- 
cans. CoraB. Wanamaker, in her Rock Springs Rocket, 
citing "crime, sickness, poverty, unemployment and 
education," expressed alarm at the cost of "maintaining 
the foreigner in our cities." Education comprised too 
small a portion of those expenses and the elimination of 
immigrant illiteracy in English, Wanamaker suggested, 
could obviate "the enormous cost of not educating the 
alien." Once naturalized, the Sheridan Post observed, 
these new "citizens must show their good faith and 
loyalty — .If others have came [sic] to us in mockery of 
the sacred rights, the sooner they return from whence they 
came the better for all the others." '-^ 

Augmenting the Bureau of Naturalization' s agenda, 
the Committee for Immigrants in America organized an 
Americanization Day celebration to take place across the 
nation on July 4, 1 9 1 5. A National Americanization Day 
Committee designed the event to both welcome immi- 
grants and stress national unity . Buoyed by their Indepen- 
dence Day successes the National Americanization Day 
Committee continued as a national clearinghouse under 
the new rubric of the National Americanization Commit- 
tee (NAC) until 1919. The NAC sponsored Immigration 
and Americanization conferences and also solicited 
women's clubs and the Daughters of the American 
Revolution. '3 

American entry into the War in April 1917 quite 
naturally caused the Americanization crusade at home to 
intensify. All of the various entities — the Committee for 
Immigrants in America and National Americanization 
Committee, the Bureau of Education, the Bureau of 
6 



Naturalization, the U. S. Chamber of Commerce, state 
and local chambers and governments, churches, women' s 
clubs, the YMC A, and patriotic organizations — busily 
drafted plans, organized conferences, conducted surveys, 
and exhorted both teachers and immigrants to do their 
duty. As the movement blended into the war effort, the 
Council of National Defense and the Committee for 
Public Information — federal agencies created especially 
for the emergency — joined the already crowded field of 
Americanization organizations. Attempts to federalize 
immigrant education through the creation of a bureau of 
citizenship and Americanization failed in large part be- 
cause of increasing friction between the Bureaus of 
Education and NaUiralization. '4 

Of more moment to immigrants, however, were the 
increasing heavy-handedness of certain patriotic Ameri- 
cans and some dissatisfied rumblings within ethnic 
communities. While war propagandists staged pageants 
and parades designed to emphasize the harmonious com- 
mingling of the nation' s heterogeneous elements, the war 
itself, as historian Ellis W. Hawley has shown, drove 
"ethnocultural conflict." Restive ethnic groups, includ- 
ing African Americans, indicated a decreasing willing- 
ness to acquiesce in their subordination to the dominant 
Anglo-American culture. Meanwhile, the distrust of 
"hyphenated Americans," especially Germans, reached 
shrill and even murderous levels in some sections of the 
nation. Finally, "a repressive loyalty apparaUis" emerged, 
goaded on by federal anti-subversion legislation and 
aided by state loyalty agencies and defense councils, as 
well as private vigilante groups. '^ 

These negative forces, manifested in anti-hyphenism 
and preparedness in 1 9 1 5 and 1916, were transformed 
into "100 Per Cent Americanism" with United States 
entry into the war. As John Higham defined it, 100 

'" Hartmann, ]05-07;}ohnhi\gham, StrangersintheLand: Patterns 
of American Nativism, /860-/925 (New Brunswick: Rutgers Univer- 
sity Press, 1955), 195-204; David M.Kennedy, Or«- We're'; r/jeF/rjf 
World War and American Society (New York: Oxford University 
Press, 1 980), 63-69; Theodore Roosevelt, Fear God and Take Your 
Own Part, in vol. 18, The Works of Theodore Roosevelt, National 
Edition (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1926), 278, 392; 
Woodrow Wilson, The Public Papers of Woodrow Wilson: The New 
DemocracY. 2 vols., eds. Ray Stannard Baker and William E. Dodd 
(New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1926). 
" Hartmann, 108-10; Wilson,319. 

' - Rock Springs Rocket. May 23. 1 9 1 6; Sheridan Post, June 1 6, 1 9 1 6. 
"Hartmann. 11 2-tO. 

'■^ Ibid.. 164—215. On labor unions' Americanization approaches 
during the war, see Barrett, "Americanization from the Bottom Up," 
1014-18. 

'^ Ellis W. Hawley, TheGreat WarandtheSearchforaModem Order: 
A History of the American People andTheir Institutions, 1917-1933 
(New York: St. Martin's Press, 1979). 1 1-15,27-30. 



percent Americanism meant "universal conformity orga- 
nized through total national loyalty" and the "inculcation 
of a spirit of duty ."' especially "the enthusiastic cultiva- 
tion of obedience and conformity ." Not surprisingly , this 
sort of super-nationalism required a ratcheting up of anti- 
German hysteria — rumors of conspiracies, attacks on 
German culture, violence against German Americans, 
internment camps, and spying. Harassment and arrests of 
putatively pro-German individuals occurred in Wyo- 
ming, often under the guise of quasi-official actions 
undertaken by 1 00 Percent American Clubs, vigilance 
committees, and Loyalty Leagues. '* 

Despite 1 00 percentism, Higham found, the "aver- 
age non-German alien passed through 1917 and 1918 
unscathed by hatred, and often touched by sympathy." 
Nonetheless, the "impulse for unity crashed against the 
plain, frightening fact that the new immigrants lived in a 
social universe so remote from that of the Americans on 
the other side of the tracks that they knew practically 
nothing of one another." In some disagreement with 
Higham. Lawrence Cardoso, in specific reference to 
Wyoming, stressed that 1 00 percentism fed nativist fears 
of all immigrants, not just Germans. Regardless. 
Americanizers often found themselves distressed both by 
the German-Americans' presumably divided loyalties 
and the new immigrants" "apartness." For instance. Dr. 
Hebard, in an address to Cheyenne women in March 
1918. paid tribute to "faithful Germans" but also sounded 
a Rooseveltian note: "There is no such thing as an 
American-German. Either they are for us or against, and 
they can not be both American and German." An appro- 
priate Wyoming example of the prevailing attitude to- 
ward immigrants in general appeared in a Lurainie Daily 
Boomerang editorial in October 1 9 1 7. "In our easy going 
way for years." the Boomerang announced, "we have 
allowed foreigners to come to America, then draw off in 
groups where they live in conditions approximating the 
conditions of their native lands." Such neglect, the writer 
continued, caused the immigrants to become litde nations 
within the nation, "With their own churches, their own 
newspapers, their own clubs, and often their own schools." 
Living and working in America, the immigrants had 
nonetheless left "their hearts abroad." "The hyphen," 
the editorial concluded, "should not be tolerated."' ■" 

In competition with the conformist approach to 
Americanizing the immigrants, liberal reformers strained 
to reconcile their softer methods with the need for 
wartime unity. Yet, as the war dragged on, the liberals' 
benign tactics gave way to the more coercive means 
preferred by the 100 percenters. After the war, immi- 
grants, generally considered agreeable to the exertions of 
Americanizers, began expressing more resentment of 



Autumn 1995 

Americanization, regardless ofhow administered. As for 
post-war Americanization itself, abject fear of commu- 
nists, anarchists, and socialists drove the Red Scare of 
1919-1 920. The National Security League, an organiza- 
tion formed during the preparedness campaign prior to 
American involvement in the War, defined post-war 
Americanism as "the fighting of Bolshevism and other 
un-American tendencies by the creation of well-defmed 
National Ideals." '* Thus, immigrant education retained 
its unifying appeal and the national organizations and 
bureaus hoped support and money would continue. How- 
ever, new federal legislation prohibited private backing 
for federal agencies, barring the National Americaniza- 
tion Committee from rendering financial assistance to the 
Bureau of Education's Division of Immigrant Education, 
which folded in 1 9 1 9. The Bureau of Education subse- 
quently incorporated its immigrant work into its adult 
education programs and its rival Bureau of Naturalization 
continued to oversee some Americanization endeavors in 
the interests of naturalization. Meanwhile, the states, in 
part impelled by the post-war hysteria, passed legislation 
to take up the slack. Wyoming, for instance, authorized 
its State Board of Education to organize Americanization 
classes through county school boards and establish teach- 
ing standards in 1921.1'' 

State efforts to maintain the Americanizing momen- 
tum fell short, however, in the face of fading federal aid, 

'*T. A, Larson. W/,«orvo/'Wv<)m/>;,t;, 2d ed, rev, (Lincoln: University 
of Nebraska Press, 1978), 400-01 ; Dale A. Poeske, "Wyoming in 
WorldWarr"(M. A. thesis, UniversityofWyoming, 1968). 123-24; 
Lawrence A. Cardoso. "Nativism in Wyoming, 1 868-1 930: Changing 
Perceptions ot Foreign Immigrants." /A^i/irt/.f o/'Wv()m(>!g 58 ( Spnng 
1986): 27-28, Manyof the actionstaken against Gemiansin Wyoming 
had official sanction, of course. See. for instance, the Lciramie 
Republican. June 4. 1918. which published an announcement that 
"German alien females" were required by presidential proclamation 
to register with the chiefs ofpolice or postmasters in all Wyoming cities 
and tow ns. The same paper ran a series of articles during the summer 
of 1918 by Clarence L. Speed of Casper, tilled "Wh> We Fight." A 
series of questions with which Mr. Speed ended one such piece 
provides a good indication of the general tone of his endeavor: "Can 
we talk of peace with a Germany, that even in timesof peace, is trying 
to disorganize our country, foment stnfe, and destroy our unity, simply 
because a strong, united nation on the other side of the world is not 
German? Can we makepeace with a country that fills our land with paid 
emissaries in an effort to make its language supplant our own? Can we 
talk of peace while a government that considers the world its prey 
dominates Germany ;"" Liiramie Rfpuhlican.iunc 14, 1918. 
' ' Higham. 2QA-2 1 5.quoteson 205-06. 215,21 3;Cardoso, "Nativism 
in Wyoming," 28; Wyoming Tribune, March 2. 1918, in box 37, 
Hebard papers; Laramie Daily Boomerang. October 23. 1917. 
"*Hartmann.218-l9, 

'" Higham, 250-54; Hawley, 48-52: Hartmann. 225-52: Cardoso. 
"Nativism in Wyoming." 33; Frances Birkhead Beard, ed,. Wyoming 
From Territorial Days to the Present (Chicago: The Amencan 
Historical Society, 1933 ), 1 :628. 

7 



Wyoming Histoiy Journal 

the disappearanceof supportive private groups, immigra- 
tion restriction, post-war economic recession, the return 
to '"normalcy" and growing indifference. Despite the 
Americanizers" efforts, Hartmann concluded in his study, 
"the number of immigrants who became Americanized 
along the formal lines advocated by the Americanization 
groups must have been small, indeed, when compared 
with the great bulk of their fellows who never saw the 
inside of an American schoolroom or settlement house." 
Gradual assimilation remained the norm, while immi- 
grant education, generally, was absorbed into adult edu- 
cation programs. -0 

Turning now to a more specific consideration of 
Grace Hebard and her Americanization work in Wyo- 
ming, it is appropriate to return to her 1 896 article for 
Illinois Wesleyan Magazine. Herdiscussion of the immi- 
grant problem provides considerable insight into a well- 
developed ideology of American nationalism. At the 
outset, Hebard made clear the crucial and obvious legacy 
of immigration to the United States. "To whom do we 
owe our Nation's unparalleled success?" she asked. 
"Certainly not," the future author of Sacajawea re- 
sponded, "to the native tribes which have resisted civi- 
lization ever since Columbus claimed the land by right of 
discovery. No, no, it is not to them; it is to the immi- 
grants." With the aid of a table showing the number and 
nationality of immigrants in 1882, 1891, and 1892, 
Hebard proceeded to point out the large increases in 
immigration from Russia, Poland, Italy, and other south- 
ern and eastern European sources. Then, in an assertion 
she believed "apparent" from "these figures," Dr. 
Hebard stated "that the quality of this immigration is 
deteriorating." As a result, she concluded in a manner 
typical of late nineteenth century American writings on 
immigration, "vast numbers of people unfamiliar with 
our habits or political thoughts and actions" would 
become voters and low-wage competitors with "our 
workingmen."-' 

As she continued, Hebard' s rhetoric took on a more 
derogatory tone. After lauding the pre- 1 870 immigration 
as sufficiently composed of the "betterclasses," Hebard 
lamented: "today we are receiving the dregs of all 
nations. America has been well called the dumping 
ground for all of the old world, and from this steaming 
heap of refuse population made up of the scum of 
communities, we see arising hideous disease, debasing 
crime, drod and drivel of the asylums, degrading pauper- 
ism and bloody rebellion, and in place of citizenship, 
anarchy and socialism." A far cry, indeed, from the 
sentiments etched at the base of the Statue of Liberty. 
Pausing to suggest the educational remedy needed to 



homogenize these motley hordes, Hebard suggested that 
without citizenship, there could be no patriotism. On the 
other hand, the overwhelming numbers of virtually 
unassimilable immigrants posed a logistical problem in 
training "the incomers into ethical harmony with the 
fundamental principles of its [America' s] own individual 
life." "The great ship of State — citizenship," she cau- 
tioned, "is not overcrowded, but there is a superabun- 
dance of steerage passengers." Finally. Dr. Hebard 
decried the nation' s "loose naturalization laws," which, 
she claimed, put too much political power "into the hands 
of ignorant voters" and "their often unscrupulous lead- 
ers." "There should be a Department of Naturaliza- 
tion," she suggested, because the seriousness of the 
problem demanded cabinet-level attention. Furthermore, 
"In each state there should be one officer responsible to 
the Secretary of Naturalization." Hebard had other sug- 
gestions, including the imposition of educational and 
property qualifications for voters, before closing her 
article.-- What is interesting from a historical perspective 
is both the harshness of her descriptions of the new 
immigrants and the occasional glimmer of optimism that 
education — albeit in tandem with severe restrictions on 
the number of such immigrants allowed into the country — 
can transform most of them into desirable citizens. 

There is no clear evidence that Dr. Hebard applied her 
intense interest in naturalization and immigration issues 
in a practical way before 1 9 1 6. It is probable, though, that 
she treated her classes in sociology and political economy 
at the University of Wyoming to discourses resonant of 
her 1896 article.-'' For the period after January 1916, 
however, one can find numerous clippings, letters, and 
references to Americanization in Dr. Hebard' s papers. 
Between January and April of that year, she requested and 
received a number of documents from the Committee on 
Immigrants in America and other entities for her Sociol- 
ogy class. In May, she wrote Paul Lee Ellerbe, the Chief 
Naturalization Examiner in the Bureau of Naturalization' s 

-^ Hartmann, 264—73, quote on 27 1 ; For speculation concerning how 
many immigrants enrolled in and attended Americanization classes 
between 1914and 1 925, see McClymer, "Americanization Movement 
and Education," 1 02-05 ; Higham, 254-63. James R. Barrett argues that 
most immigrants were acculturated through participation in the labor 
movement, the objectives of which were often antithetical to the official 
Americanization groups. Barrett, 101 1. 
-' Hebard, 226, 228-29, italics in the original. 
--Ibid., 229,231-34,238^3. 

--^"Immigration" was one of the topics listed in a description of the 
Department of Political Economy's "Sociology and Social Problems" 
course in pre-war catalogues. See, for example, 'Catalogue, 1914," 
University of Wyoming Bulletin 1 1 (Laramie: University of Wyoming, 
April 1914), 95. 



8 



Denver office, having noticed his reference to citizenship 
training for foreigners in a Cheyenne newspaper, and 
asked him for more printed material. "If I were Hving in 
Cheyenne."' she closed, "I would be very glad to offer 
my services for Saturday evening teaching of this sub- 
ject. "-J 

As it turned out. not living in Cheyenne did not 
prevent Dr. Hebard from ultimately offering her services. 
Having followed with keen interest the developing na- 
tional push for Americanization. Hebard. by the autumn 
ot 1916. felt prepai'ed to bring the issue before Wyoming" s 
citizenry. In the weeks leading up to an early October 
address on the "Americanization of the Immigrant"" 
presented to the Wyoming Federation of Women"s Clubs 
( WFWC ) in Sheridan, she also busied herself with a plan 
to iinohe the University of Wyoming in an Americaniza- 
tion program in Laramie. The city "s public schools had 
evidently ignored the Bureau of Naturalization"s prod- 
ding to start night classes for immigrants, so Hebard. in 
consultation with Chief Examiner Ellerbe, District Court 
Judge "Volney J. Tidball. and University President Clyde 
A. Duniway . began laying the foundation for the classes. 
In addition the president of the University's YMCA 
expressed to Dr. Hebard his organization's willingness 
"to take up this work of helping to instruct the Immi- 
grant."" Ellerbe agreed with Hebard that securing the 
cooperation of such groups as Wyoming's women's 
clubs and the university " s YMCA would be helpful, but 
in specific reference to Laramie, he felt that "After it [the 
class] is stalled it will be aone-manjob and will not take 
much time at that."-'' 

In Sheridan. Hebard first enlightened the clubwomen 
upon the fundamental differences between the class of 
immigrants — "advanced in industry, skilled in agricul- 
ture, and above the average in intelligence"" — which had 
once predominated w ith those now coming from "south- 
east continental Europe." who were "less educated — not 
skilled in industry," impoverished, and lacking in ambi- 
tion. "Americanization and citizenship are two identical 
words to the majority of the American bom citizens." she 
then pointed out, yet "Under conditions as they now 
exist, the two words are as far apart as the North and South 
pole." "The alien." Hebard continued, "should be made 
to feel that citizenship is a favor and not a right"" and. 
happily . the "immigrants are not only ready to be taught, 
but beg that they may have instructions." Finally, she 
made her appeal, noting first that the public schools were 
already in use for Americanization training throughout 
the country yet implying that the schools alone could not 
adequately instruct every citizenship candidate that sought 
"enlightenment." "I ain wondering if I may," she said, 
"this evening make an appeal to you to help Americanize 



Autumn 19Q5 
the immigrant citizen, that he may be a more intelligent 
and better citizen and in this way we may have an 
unparallel[ed) preparedness in time of foreign conflict." 
Hebard' stalk struck a responsive chord among her fellow 
Federation members and they passed a resolution ( drafted 
by Hebard) in support of Americanization.-'" 

That same weekend in Sheridan, in addition to 
attending the WFWC convention. Dr. Hebard partici- 
pated in the annual meeting of the State Library Associa- 
tion and presided as State Regent at the Wyoming DAR 
conference. In her report to the DAR. Hebard quite 
eloquently referred to her anxiety about immigrants in 
recommending a DAR role in Americanization: 

1 ha\e but (inc final recdniniendation In make and I make ihis 
because we are distinctly a patriotic society, and have ancestors 
who were born so long ago that they are no longer classed as 
immigrants. This is an earnest plea Irom me that we lr\ to do 
something tow ard the education of the alien, who comes to our 
shoresof liberty and freedom, not onl\ in helping him to read our 
language, but m understanding our form of government. We 
cannot Americanize immigrants by simply making citizens of 
them and allowing them to \ i >te; thev must be taught to know w hat 
it IS to be Americanized, and this can only be brought about b\ 
the understanding of our customs and our government. The poor 
al len does not know . often, what is required by our la ws. and often 
becomes a criminal from ignorance of our laws. May we not take 
an acti\ e part in co-operating vMth the Judges of the District Court 
of Wyoming, who grants [sic I citizenship to aliens, in helping the 
immigrant to a better understanding of the principles for which 
our government stands, and the technicalities of our government. 
Incidentally in helping them, we can gleam glimpses of light 
ourseh es. This is a matter very near to my heart, because it is a 
subject which I teach, and I believe the more you go into the matter, 
the more vital you v. ill realize that this is a part of the education 
needed by the alien who has become a citizen and who has not 
become an American.-^ 

-■* For the January through April 1916 letters to the Committee on 
Immigrants in America, et. al. see Naturalization vertical tiles, folder 
4. AHC: Grace Raymond Hebard to Paul Lee Ellerbe. May 1 0. 1 91 6. 
in folder 4. 

-■' Quotes from Grace Raymond Hebard to Paul Lee Ellerbe. September 
20. 1 9 1 6 and Ellerbe to Hebard. .September 23. 1 9 1 6; see also Hebard 
to Honorable V.J. Tidball. September 15,1916; Hebard to Ellerbe. 
September 15. 19l6,allinNaturalization\erticalfiles. folder4. AHC. 
-*' Grace Raymond Hebard. "Americanization of the Immigrant." 
ty pew ritten draft of speech gi\ en at Sheridan. Wyoming. October 6. 
1 9 1 6. before Wyoming Federation of Women 's Clubs, in Naturaliza- 
tion vertical files, folder 3. AHC. Hebardused this text, with only minor 
modifications, in many subsequent Americanization talks and also 
published it as an article in the Gciwral Federation of Women 's Clubs 
Magazine for February 1917. a copy of which is in folder 3; 
"Resolutions Adopted by the Thirteenth Annual Convention of the 
Wyoming Federation of Women's Clubs Held at Sheridan. Wyoming. 
October 4—6, 1916." in Naturalization files, folder I; see Hebard's 
reference to resolution in Hebard to Ellerbe. October 13. 1916. folder 
4: Sheridan Post. OclobsT 6. 10. 1916. 

- ■' Daughters of the Amencan Revolution of Wyoming, report dated 
Sheridan, Wyoming, October 4, 1916, in Box I. DAR file. Hebard 
papers; Sheridan Post. October 6. 1916. 

9 



Wyoming History Journal 

"The iron is hot," Hebard wrote Ellerbe after her 
successful weekend in Sheridan, "and I believe can be 
welded into a satisfactory shape, if you will tell me what 
to do, and let me know what you can do." In reply, Ellerbe 
suggested persuading public schools in sections of the 
state with "an appreciable proportion of alien population 
to install classes in citizenship." He hoped to see classes 
started "at once" in Cheyenne, Laramie, Rawlins, 
Sundance, Casper, Sheridan, Rock Springs, Newcastle, 
and Kemmerer. Ellerbe later journeyed to Laramie to 
discuss citizenship education for immigrants with Uni- 
versity president Clyde Duniway. Ellerbe's visit was, 
according to a letter he 
wrote to the Laramie 
Daily Boomerang, afo\- 
low-up to a conversation 
he held with Dr. Hebard 
in September, during 
which he "found her en- 
thusiastically interested in 
the subject." Despite the 
small number of immi- 
grant residents in Albany 
County, Ellerbe believed, 
as did Judge Tidball, that 
"the need for such a class 
is nevertheless very 
real." As the Laramie 
public schools had failed 
to act upon the Bureau's 
request to implement an 
adult immigrant education 
program. President 
Duniway informed 
Ellerbe "that the Univer- 
sity of Wyoming would undertake the conduct of a 
citizenship class," to be taught by Dr. Hebard. Ellerbe 
informed the professor that he would furnish to her the 
names of those filing petitions for naturalization. He also 
suggested that Hebard arrange with Frank J. Ihmsen, 
Clerk of the District Court in Laramie, to refer declarants 
and petitioners directly to her.28 

Thus, Grace Raymond Hebard became Albany 
County ' s official Americanizer. Hercrusading zeal fairly 
leaps out of letters written in the weeks following the 
establishmentoftheclass. "This Americanization work, 
in which I am vitally interested," she informed a Mrs. 
David, "is to me what a great deal of church work is to 
other people. I wish to make it a religion, for a time at 
least. My idea is that one cannot be a real christian until 
he is a patriot." To Mrs. Walter McNab Miller in New 




The Teesdales, a newly naturalized family, in front of 
the Albany County Courthouse on March 8. 1917 



York City, Hebard noted her intention to get the state' s 
public schools to ultimately take on the work, then 
gushed, "I love the work because it is along the line of 
citizenship and this is my one hobby. I only wish I might 
be able to do national work on this account." The first 
letters to prospective students went out on December 1 , 
1916.2'^ 

A spring 1917 article from a National American 
Woman Suffrage Association publication, the A^ar/o/zfl/ 
Suffrage News, and documents housed in the University 
of Wyoming's American Heritage Center provide a 
glimpse at how Hebard' s classes actually operated. Judge 

Tidball, a former Hebard 
pupil, issued the order giv- 
ing her the right to conduct 
the classes. Moreover, her 
students' certificates of 
examinationeliminatedthe 
need for a court-room ex- 
amination, "an infinite 
relief to the foreigners, who 
find a court examination 
under strange surround- 
ings a trying, sometimes 
even a disastrous ordeal." 
Nonetheless, at the dis- 
trict court on March 8, 
1917— with one of Dr. 
Hebard's Sociology 
classes on hand — Judge 
Tidball and naturalization 
examiner Frederick C. 
Emmerich quizzed the 
professor' s three foreign 
students. Afterwards, 
Tidball expressed his wish that "all native-bom Ameri- 
cans could answer the questions as well, and with as full 
understanding. '"'o 

Hebard' s initial citizenship course covered ten weeks — 
two hours of class one evening each week — during that 
winter, "a severe test," the article presumed, "of the 

'^ Hebard to Ellerbe, October9, 191 6,andEllerbeto Hebard, October 
1 1, 19 16,in Naturalization files, folder4: Laramie Daily Boomerang. 
October 25, 1916, clipping in Box 37, Hebard papers; Ellerbe to 
Hebard, October 23, 1916, Naturalization files, folder 4. Ellerbe to 
Hebard, October 11, 1916, Naturalization files, folder 4. See also 
Hebard to Richard K.Campbell (Commissioner of Naturalization, U.S. 
Department of Labor), October 31, 1916, also in folder 4. On 
cooperation between the Bureau of Naturalization's chief examiners 
and local judges see McClymer, "Federal Government and American- 
ization Movement," 36. 

^' Hebard to Mrs. David, November 2, 1916; Hebard to Mrs. Walter 
McNab Miller. November 25, 1916, Naturalization files, folder4. 



10 



desire to become good American citizens." The first 
lesson began with the students memorizing the song 
"America," then writing an essay on "what the Hymn 
means." Hebard. in addition to explaining the process of 
naturahzation, had the class explain "why and under what 
conditions" they had immigrated to the United States and 
alsodiscuss the meaning of liberty. Each week focused on 
aparticulartheme — citizenship, one ofthe three branches 
offederalgovemment, an overview of American history, 
Wyoming and city government — before ending with a 
review and discussion of "Citizenship Privileges and 
Duties." In addition to "the academic treatment of her 
subject. Dr. Hebard never let a lesson pass without a 
patriotic stimulus," from "special study" of American 
Presidents to "lessons in democratic ideals from the 
Revolutionary and Civil Wars." An American flag, 
"with apicture of Washington in its folds," hung behind 
the instructor throughout."" 

At the end of the examniation, "Dr. Hebard pinned 
a small silk flag upon the coat or dress of each one of the 
class" and reminded them that their first duty as new 
citizens might entail defending the emblem "even at the 
sacrifice of life." A lawyer in attendance, moved by the 
ceremony, assured Dr. Hebard, "[ajlthough you have no 
sons to send to war, you certainly have made three 
patriotic loyal citizens out of that number of aliens." 
Significantly, one of the spinster professor's patriotic 
loyal citizens was Ferdinand Hansen, a German from 
Rock River, who when asked if he would fight against his 
former homeland if the United States entered the war, 
replied in the affirmative, "without any hesitation, but 
with a troubled brow." Accompanying the one-page 
article, a photograph showed Dr. Hebard standing on the 
courthouse steps with Judge Tidball, Emmerich, the 
Clerk of Court, and her three students, identified as 
"German, Irishman, Englishman. "^- 

Oddly, considering her views about southern and 
eastern Europeans, Dr. Hebard had very little direct 
contact with immigrants from those parts of the globe. 
Yugoslavians, Czechs, Slovaks, Poles, Turks, Greeks, 
and Italians inhabited the coal mining camps in south- 
western Wyoming, but Hebard" s citizenship students 
generally came from the British Isles, Germany, and the 
Scandinavian countries. Of 53 students listed on enroll- 
ment cards found in Hebard" s papers, one was Greek and 
another Syrian. Of the remaining51, 1 1 were English, 1 1 
Swedish, seven Norwegian, six German, three Canadian, 
three Scottish, two Danish, one Belgian, one Irish, one 
British West Indian, one Sw iss, and one Mexican. The 
other three were American women married to immi- 
grants, who by law. were citizens of their husbands' 
nations of oricin until the man became an American 



Autumn IQQ5 

citizen. It is unlikely that these three and the five foreign- 
bom wives included in the enrollment cards actually took 
Dr. Hebard' s course, thereby leaving 45 bona fide stu- 
dents.^' Otherwise, only threeof Dr. Hebard' s immi- 
grant scholars were women, the widowed Englishwoman 
Louisa Banner, her single daughter Kate, and Jennie 
McLay , a42-year-old teacher from Canada. Most of the 
students worked for the Union Pacific railroad as engi- 
neers, machinists, car inspectors or repairers, tie hacks, 
rip track workers, and hostlers. Others noted their occu- 
pations as laborers, carpenters, and ranchers, with one 
each being a shepherd, teamster, barber, merchant, and 
miner.'-* 

During the summer of 1 9 1 7. Hebard augmented her 
normal teaching load by conducting more ""classes in 
Americanization." By November, according to the VV( )/?;<»; 
Citizen, she had already "achieved a nation-wide fame" 
in "bringing America to many a foreigner.""''' Moreover, 
Dr. Hebaid wasted little time in taking her message about 
Americanization on the road. As the federally appc^nted 
head of Wyoming's War Lecture Bureau. Hebard tra- 



'" "Aniencani/alum Service of the Suffragists. " Nmioiml Stittnifit' 
Nt'ws. undated clipping In Box ^5. Hebard papers; Laramie Bimmi'i- 
cini;. March 8, 1917. A copy of .ludgeTidhalPs November 20. I9lfi 
court order is in Naturalization files, folder 2. 
" "Ainencani/ation Service;" "Citizenship, Outline Lessons to be used 
in the Class for Preparation for Naturalization. Grace Raymond 
Hebard, Laramie. Wyo." In Naturalization files, folder 2. Students had 
to be able to read English to take Hebard's course. Otherwise, a 
citizenship candidate would "receive special instruction in another 
course." See McClymer, "Americanization Movement and Educa- 
tion." 103-10. for a general critique of Americanization classes. 
'- "Americanization Service;" "Interesting Westerners." Sunset. 
September 1918. 46; Laramie Boomerang. March 8, 1917. The 
German, of course, was Hansen, the Irishman Joe L. Madigan. and the 
Englishman Walter Teesdale. Hansen was indeed drafted into the 
armed forces. See Grace Raymond Hebard to A. N, Hasenkamp. 
January 17, 1919, in Naturalization files. folder4. 
'•' John F. McClymer makes the point that .Americanization, though 
usually taught in public schools and other settings by women, was 
explicitly geared toward males. McClymer. "Gender and the 'Ameri- 
can Way of Life"; Women in the Americanizalion Movement.'" 
Joiinuihif American Ethnic Historx 10 (Spring 1991 ); 7-9, 
'"* Information on students gleaned from enrollment cards in Natural- 
ization vertical files, folder I . McLay. despite missing the first few 
meetings of Dr. Hebard" s class due to a "very bad cold." was naturalized 
on March 1 9. 1 9 1 9. along with Peter Ketelson. a Geiman. Razi Najjar 
from Syria. Frederick G, James, a barber from the British West Indies, 
and Chris Andersen, a Dane who worked as a hostler for the L'nion 
Pacific. See Jennie McLay to Grace Raymond Hebard. February 4. 
1 9 1 9, in Naturalization files, folder 2. Moreover. McLay. who taught 
for a period of time at Tie Siding School, about twenty miles south of 
Laramie, was Albany County Superintendent of Schools from 1 923 lo 
1925. See AlbanyCounty Cow-Belles, Oni-Sc//c,v/?»ii; 5r/;,)(i/Se//.v.' 
A History of Rural Schools in Albany Coiottv. Wyoming (Laramie: 
Albanv County Cow-Belles Club. 1976). xviii. 34. 



11 



Wyoming History Journal 

versed the state giving talks not only on Americanization 
but on food conservation and women" s role in war work. 
In a presentation before the state board of education in 
November 1917. she "made a strong plea for some action 
toward the Americanization of emigrant foreigners in this 
country, and the removing of the hyphen from their 
designation in advance of their being made citizens." She 
pushed the board to provide free instruction for Wyoming ' s 
foreign residents in English and American and Wyoming 
history and government. Alas, on this occasion, the board 
could only express its sympathy with Hebard" s wishes, 
confessing that a lack of funds prevented the implemen- 
tation of a state-run Americanization program.-''^ 

A few months later. Dr. Hebard ventured to Fort 
Collins to address the Cache la Poudre chapter of the 
D AR. Hebard, described in a newspaper account as "the 
only woman in this part of the country who has been 
granted the special privilege of preparing aliens for 
citizenship," stressed Americanization as acrucial war 
measure, reiterating her contention that "many foreign- 
ers were naturalized, but not Americanized." Further- 
more, at this talk, the professor discussed another aspect 
ofnaturalization that concerned her greatly. In recom- 
mending the founding of night schools, she emphasized 
the need to Americanize the alien's wife. "She must be 
educated," Dr. Hebard declared, "and receive more 
recognition and [s]ome of the principles of Americaniza- 
tion must be ground into her.""*^ 

In late summer 1 9 1 8, as the war headed into its final 
weeks, Grace Hebard traveled east, the guest of Grace H. 
Bagley of Boston, chair of the Americanization commit- 
tee of the National American Woman Suffrage Associa- 
tion. Mrs. Bagley's letters of introduction to other 
women with whom Hebard met during her eastern trip 
referred to the Wyomingite as "a 1 00 per cent efficient 
war time American." whose "favorite job is the educa- 
tion of immigrants." In September, speaking to women 
in Boston, Hebard got swiftly to the point, asking, "Is the 
melting pot melting?" Answering herown question, she 
pointed out the self-segregation of Boston's foreign 
population. "There should be no foreign quarter," she 
declared, and then helpfully explained her Americaniza- 
tion philosophy: "I instruct at night in the fundamentals 
and ideals of United States history, show them the 
difference between liberty and license and prepare them 
for American citizenship." Impressed, a fio^fo/; Herald 
& Tribune reporter referred to the Wyoming educator as 
"a patriot with a capital P."""* 

Wither Grace Hebard' s "capital P" patriotism after 
the war? An attack of acute indigestion prevented her 
from attending the naturalization of five of her students 
in March 1919, and she subsequently informed corre- 
12 



spondents that she had taught her last naturalization 
class.'''' Nonetheless, she put considerable effort into 
immigrant issues and Americanization for the remainder 
of her life. For example, immediately following the 
Armistice, the University of Wyoming's Division of 
Correspondence Study offered Political Economy XIII: 
Americanization, taught by Dr. Hebard. "As a future 
preparedness for national unity," Hebard' s course de- 
scription stated, "naturalization of the alien should mean 
more than a human voting machine, it must mean being 
an American with all hyphens eliminated." The course, 
designed for regular university students, not immigrants 
seeking naturalization papers, offered a brief history of 
immigration and a description of "what our government 
is now doing to Americanize the foreigner." Soon 
thereafter. Dr. Hebard began teaching a two credit course, 
required of Political Economy majors, called "Ameri- 
canization and Reconstruction." Reflective of wide- 
spread post-war concerns about labor radicalism (a key 
element in the Red Scare ). the catalogue course descrip- 
tion pointed out that "the problem of making the immi- 



''" "In a Suffrage Garden." \Vr)/?i(;/; OY;,-f'!, November 10, 1917.458. 
clipping in box 35, Hebard papers. 

-'^"Dr. Hebard Urges Americanization of Aliens. "unidentified news- 
paper clipping, dated November 14. 1 9 1 7. in box 35, Hebard papers; 
"Interesting Westerners, "46; Minutes of the State Board of Education 
for November 12,1917, in Minutes of and Reports to the State Board 
of Education, Wyoming State Archives, Cheyenne. 
-'^ "Americanization of Aliens is Urged," unidentified and undated 
newspaper clipping. Box 37. Hebard papers. A clipping from the 
Laramie Republican. February 11. 1918. refers to a talk on food 
conservation given in Fort Collins prior to the Americanization 
address, which took place that evening. The unidentified clipping 
refers to the earliertalk. Hebard outlined her concern for Americanizing 
immigrant women in an article published in a Washington State-based 
journal called 7"/;t' V'<;/ii,'(/rt/-</andse\eral letters. See Grace Raymond 
Hebard. "Americanization of Alien Woman [sic]." The Vanguard. 
March 1918. in Naturalization files, folder 3; Hebard to Hon. V. J. 
Tidball. September 15.1916. Hebard to Paul Lee Ellerbe, September 
15, I916.EllerbetoHebard.September25. 1916,Hebardto Mrs. John 
C. Pearson, undated, all in Naturalization files, folder 4. For a brief 
discussion concerning the Americanization of immigrant women, see 
McCly mer, "Gender and the 'American Way of Life'." 9- 1 6. 
^^^ Grace H. Bagley to Gertrude Bamum, August 22,1918; Bagley to 
Julia C. Lathrop. August 22.1918. box 35, Hebard papers; Boston 
Herald & Tribune. September 3. 1918, clipping in box 35. Hebard 
papers. For references to Bagley "s role as the suffrage organization's 
headof Americanization, .see Ida Husted Harper, ed.,///.vr()no/'WOTw»! 
5wj(frage(New York: NAWSA,I922),5:520,560, 690, 697, 729,732. 
'^ Hebard also anticipated the state's public schools and the University " s 
Department ofEducation taking control of Americanization. Grace 
Raymond Hebard to Raymond Martin, February' 26, 1 9 19; Hebard to 
Paul Armstrong, February 26, March 21,1919; Hebard to V. J. Tidball, 
March 17. 1919; Hebard to Richard K. Campbell, March 21. 1919; 
Hebard to Paul Lee Ellerbe, March 21,1919, Naturalization files, folder 
4, 



Autumn 1995 




rhe "Aiucricai}izt'r" poses m her office. University of Wyoiniuii. early in her career 



grant an American before he is naturalized involves 
important labor conditions which are allied with the 
period of reconstruction always necessary after a war." 
Hebard offered this course, or a variation thereof, until 
her death in 1936. The 1921 legislation provided the 
pretext for a summer school class in Naturalization and 
Citizenship, planned "to meet the new demand of those 
who are expecting to teach in night schools."-*" 

Besides teaching the precepts of Americanization to 
University of Wyoming students well into the 1930s, 
Grace Hebard continued to fmd time to preach about the 
benefits of educating immigrants as well as the dangers 
of unrestricted immigration. In an address to young 
immigrant tie hacks at a picnic in Foxpark during the 
summer of 1922. Dr. Hebard extolled the benefits of 
Americanization and naturalization. Yet. as the United 
States worked its way toward placing numerical quotas 
upon immigration in the early 1 920s. Hebard also made 
her views concerning certain groups known in Wyoming 
and nationally. At a WFWC convention at Casper in 1 920 
she warned clubwomen of an "expanding foreign popu- 
lation, which consists largely of Italians, Slovaks. Czecks 
[sic]. Rumanians. Poles and Russians" lured to the 
United States because of post-war conditions in Europe 
and high wages in America. Hebard again expressed her 
underlying doubts about these immigrants" willingness 
to throw off their "restless spirit" and "become Ameri- 
can citizens." In the Woman Citizen in 1 92 1 . she main- 



tained that "our own house needs readjustment just 
now." and commended the recently passed federal immi- 
gration law, which limited the number of new immigrants 
from each nationality to three percent of those resident in 
the United States in 1 9 1 0. That provision favored immi- 
gration from northern and northwestern Europe and 
greatly reduced the numbers coming from southern and 
eastern Europe. "Homogeneity." Hebard asserted, "can 
only be maintained by admitting in greatest numbers 
those who iire acceptable for assmiilation with our .-Xmeri- 
can people. The new law aims to restrict the tide from 
countries w hich w ould give us a population difficult of 
assimilation and give preference to countries whose 
emigrants are eager to become Americans, with whom we 
would intermarry." Perhaps, as examples of those eager 
to become Americans. Dr. Hebard had in mind the 
"German. Irishman. Englishman" whom she trans- 
formed into Americans several years before. She also 
gave "Americanization" talks as the 1924 National 
Origins Act. which ultimately restricted European immi- 
gration on the basis of the 1 890 census, further reducing 



*' "Division of Correspondence Study." University of Wyoming 
Bulletin 15 (Laramie: University of Wyoming. December 1918).42; 
"Catalogue, 1921." t 'IV Bulletin 1 8 ( Laramie: UW, April 1 92 1 ). 76: 
"SummerSchoolNumber.June 19toJuly29. 1922." t'HS////d';//! 18 
(Laramie: UW, April 1922), 30. See course outlines for training 
Americanization workers in Naturalization files, folder 1 . 



13 



Wyoming Histon' Journal 

the quota for southern and eastern Europeans, approached 

passage.-" 

Considered by many of her contemporaries as a "a 
path breais:er'" in "[mjaking American citizens."-*- Grace 
Raymond Hebard. through her career as an Americaruzer, 
represents a paradox in America' s historical treatment of 
immigrants. While welcomed as a crucial supply of 




"Dr. Hebard extolled the benefits of Amehcanizotion and naturalization. 



manual labor, the southern and eastern Europeans (not to 
mention Asian and Latin American immigrants ) repelled 
many "old stock" Americans like Hebard. They lacked 
the proper individualistic and democratic traditions and 
seemed particularly susceptible to following the red flags 
of radicalism. Yet, as noted above, her immigrant stu- 
dents did not come from Poland. Russia. Italy, and other 
nations of dubious qualities in the assessment of 
Americanizers. 

Responses of immigrant students themselves to 
Hebard" s classes suggest that she made a positive impres- 
sion on her citizenship classes. A letter "From a member 
of my first Americanization class." thanked Hebard "for 
the work you have done and the interest you have taken in 
us." The correspondent continued: "I consider that we 
have been singularly fortunate — that your public 
spiritedness and patriotism prompted you to assume the 
task — .Personally, I came to the classes at first with a 
feeling that I was pretty well acquainted with the needful 



subjects, and that it would not be necessary for me to 
attend, but at the first lesson I formed a different concept 
of Citizenship from your enthusiasm and Patriotism." 
Kate Banner, the young English woman whose mother 
and brother Hebard also "Americanized." thanked the 
teacher for "your kindness in making things so pleasant 
for us. especially Mother." In 1929, the University of 

Wyoming's student 
newspaper. The Brand- 
ing Iron , in a story about 
Dr. Hebard' s fortieth 
year at the school, re- 
ported: "Many of our 
citizens of foreign birth 
speak gratefully of this 
service whenever her 
name is mentioned in 
their presence."-*-'' Thus, 
in contrast to Hebard' s 
often harsh comments 
about certain immigrant 
groups, it must be ac- 
knowledged that she 
made a concerted and 
conscientious effort to 
ease their assimilation 
into American hfe. Even 
if one questions her 
embrace of homogene- 
ity — and one does so at 
the risk of yanking Dr. 
Hebard out of context — 
her underlying optimism contrasts favorably with much 
of the raw chauvinism and xenophobia passing as patrio- 
tism during and after World War I. One can only guess 
at whether more contact with southern and eastern Euro- 
peans in her classes would have confirmed Hebard in her 
prejudices or softened her views. 



-" "Americanization and Naturalization in Wyoming. 1921-22," r/?e 
C/»/niwfw/;, October-November 1922,12-1.^. and unidentified news- 
paper clippings in Naturalization files, folder 1; [Grace Raymond 
Hebard], "America forAmericans," typewritten draft in Naturalization 
tiles, folder 3; CasperDaily Tribune. September 29-30, 1 920; Casper 
Herald. September 30, 1920; Grace Raymond Hebard. "Why We 
Exclude the Ninety-Seven." Woman Citizen. June 18, 1921, 14; 
Unidentified and undated newspaperclipping, probably April 1 924, 
Hebard papers. Box 37. 
-*- "Interesting Westerners." 46. 

■" Undated, typed letter ( possibly acopy ). in Naturalization files, folder 
2; Kate Banner to Grace Raymond Hebard. June 5, 1 9 1 7. Naturalization 
files, folder 2; "Dr. Hebard Honored on Anniversary of Service," r/je 
Branding Iron. July 1, 1929, clipping in box 35, Hebard papers. 



14 



Hebard's impact must also be considered in relation 
to the native-born American students who, under her 
tutelage, confidently strode forth from Laramie to teach 
the immigrant in communities all around Wyoming and 
elsewhere. In 1929. for instance, Hebard witnessed a 
naturalization examination of applicants trained by "my 
one-time student." J. E. Thayer. "The way they an- 
swered and the earnestness w ith which they went to their 
task." she informed Thayer, "showed very clearly that 
their instmctorhad been very painstaking and that he had 
obtained their respect and confidence." "As a student in 
your classes in Americanization and Sociology during the 
past summer term," A. L. Burgoon, a school district 
superintendent in Lincoln County, Wyoming, wrote in 
1 922, "I wish to express my appreciation for the vision 
and inspiration you have given me." And from the nun in 
Notre Dame, Indiana, delighted at Dr. Hebard" s prompt 
reply to her request for information, a sincere, even 
touching, note of gratitude: "I know 1 should be very 
proud and happy to have made as many good citizens for 
our beloved country as you have done."^-* To those 



Autumn l<-)*-)5 

devoted to the cause of Americanization that was exactly 
the point — to make good American citizens. While many 
at the time and since have rightly criticized them for their 
zealotry and prejudice, the Americanizers generally con- 
ducted their crusade as a sincere and well-intentioned 
endeavor. The case of Grace Raymond Hebard indicates 
quite clearly the commingling of fear and optimism 
inherent in the Americanizers' approach. 



^-i Grace Raymond Hebard lo Mr^ J. E. Thayer. March 1 S. 1924. in 
Nalurahzation vertical file. Iiilder 2. AHC; see also, in same location, 
HehardtoHonorableV.J.Tidball.March 18, 1 929: A. L. Burgoon to 
Dr. Grace Raymond Hebard. August I. U)22, box 36, Hebard papers; 
.Sister M Veronica to Hebard. March 2}. 1924. 



Frank Van Nuys, a native of Rapid City, S. D.. 
is a doctoral candidate in American liistory at the 
University of Wyoming. His research interests 
center on Progressive era debates concerning 
immigration, ethnicity, and American identity. 



15 



sMlPffl'l^lflAMMoTH Contract 

ISTRUCTiPN of tIhE 

99^1901 ^ . 




"West Entrance, Aspen Tunnel" 



Autumn 1995 



Horace G. Burt, president of the Union Pacific 
Railroad, personally explored his company's route 
through the Rocky Mountains "afoot and on horse- 
back" several times in 1898. Along with numerous 
survey teams he sought a path that would both shorten 
the railroad's line and reduce its grade, particularly in 
the more rugged regions of Wyoming. Working with 
his chief engineer, J.B. Berry, who would ultimately 
plan and supervise the construction program. Burt be- 
came the "prime mover" behind an ambitious improve- 
ment project whose crowning achievement would be 
Aspen Tunnel, a 3.900-foot long cut through Aspen 
Ridge five and one-half miles east of the Bear River and 
eleven miles south of Evanston. Wyoming.' 

Burt had a clear mandate to create an "extensive 
scheme of improvement" for the Union Pacific Rail- 
road. The company had survived the Depression of 
1893, had gone through receivership and reorganiza- 
tion, and, as of December 1897, had a new board of 
directors. Sitting on this new board was the railroad 
world's administrative genius, Edward Henry Harriman.- 
E.H. Harriman had considerable experience in oper- 
ating railroad companies before joining the Union 
Pacific's board. His father-in-law. William J. Averell. 
an Ogdensburg, New York banker, served as president 
of the Ogdensburg & Lake Champlain Railroad Com- 
pany. Being related to Averell intluenced Harriman" s 
desire to become involved in the management and 
financial affairs of railroads and led him in 1881 to 
purchase, reinvigorate and then sell the once-bankrupt 
Lake Ontario Southern Railroad. In 1883, Harriman 
joined the Illinois Central Railroad and became Stuy- 
vesant Fish's assistant. Here Harriman successfully 
tested his theory of improving a line's operational 
efficiency through recycling company profits to secure 
equipment and to upgrade and maintain the line's 
physical facilities. Earning a reputation as "one of the 
great railway builders of all time." Harriman soon 
demonstrated his "unerring judgement as to the extent 
to which earnings should be reinvested" in a railroad's 
betterment. Within five months of becoming a member 
of the Union Pacific's board of directors. Harriman had 
risen to the position of president of the board's execu- 
tive committee.' 



Harriman came to the Union Pacific Railroad Com- 
pany at precisely the right time. Despite its having 
weathered five years of economic hardship, the railroad 
was in deplorable condition. The Union Pacific's physi- 
cal situation was "almost hopeless": 

Track was poor, rails were light, rolling stock was old and 
inadcL|uatc. Maintenance had been neglected on much of 
the line during the period ot receivership, grades were 
heavy and curves short. ■" 

From the beginning the railroad's founders had been 
more interested in short-tenn gains than in the company ' s 
future welfare. While deciding on the line's original 
route. Union Pacific officials gave little thought to a 
straight, short and relatively level pathway. Their main 
concern was to lay as much track as quickly as possible 
to take advantage of the generous land grants that the 
federal government offered the company as an incen- 
tive to construct the railroad. Subsequent administra- 
tions showed more desire to issue dividends to stock- 
holders than to put the line's profits back into its 
facilities and equipment. Harriman, however, reversed 
these situations. His philosophy was one of efficiency 
financed through company earnings which he would 
use to purchase larger and heavier equipment and 
locomotives to pull longer trains, and to pay for improv- 
ing the route by reducing curves and grades, and up- 
grading ballast, bridges, and rails. To effect these changes 
the board named practical engineer H.G. Burt president 

' "Roadbed Improvement on the Union Pacific," Railnav and 
Engineering Rt'vien 41 (March 16. 19(^)1 ). 142;"RevisionofGrades 
and Alignment, Lhiion Pacific R.R.," R(nhva\ and Engineering 
Revie\v4\ (August 10. 19(11 ). 5,^2. W. P. Hardesty, "The Construc- 
tion of the Aspen, Wyoming, Tunnel on the Union Pacific Rail- 
road," Engineering News 47 (March 6, 1902), 183; Maury Klein, 
Union Pacific: The Rebirth. 1894-1969 (New York: Doubleday. 
1989), 29; Wvoming /'/•f.v.v. May 3, 1902; United States. U.S. Army. 
Armv Map Service. Corps of Engineers. "Ogden, Utah; Wyoming." 
scale 1:230,000 (Washington. D. C: 1966 |limited revision of 
1954]). 

- "Revision of Grade." 332; Klein. Union Pacific. 1 1 -20, 26, 28-29. 
' Dumas Malone, Dictionary- of American Biography (New York: 
Charles Scribner's Sons. 1932), 8: 297-98; Nelson Trottman, Hls- 
tor\' of the Union Pacific (New York: Ronald Press Company, 
1923), 273-74, 301, 305; Klein, Union Pacific. 39, 49. 
■* Malone, Dictionary, 8: 297. 



COMplETJNq AspEN TuNNeI was a TEchNoloqiCAl fEAT tIhAT Took TWO YEARS, 

resuItecj JN tIhe (JEATh of AT Ieast eIeven wopkERs [rom accjcjents diRECjly reIatecI 
TO tIhe project's construction, ancJ cost $ 1 2,000,000. 



17 



Wvominti Histon,' Journal 



'^m^ 









yy^, 



^:^^^- 






.A^ 



r^a;^- 



._"*-. 



ki'^j; 



^^''■^^^S^" 



T'/jt' wagon train was photographed in Echo Canyon, Utah, 26.5 miles west of Sulphur Creek 
where the Hasting 's Cutoff route over Aspen Ridge ended. 



of the Union Pacific, and Harriman ordered Burt to 
draw up a large-scale construction plan for the railroad' s 
entire route.' 

Chief Engineer J. B. Berry planned and directed the 
Union Pacific's "extensive scheme of improvement" 
for Burt. His blueprints called for the construction of 
cutoffs, the elimination or reduction of grades and 
curves, the widening of roadbeds lined with ballast to a 
nine-inch depth, the use of eighty-pound steel rail in 
place of the older seventy-pound stock, and the replace- 
ment of all wooden bridges with steel trestles or earthen 
embankments and cast-iron, concrete or stone culverts." 

Much of Berry's master plan centered on Wyoming. 
Here the practical engineer designed eight cutoffs that 
incorporated bridges calculated to bear the weight of 
'"two 172 1/2-ton con.solidated engines, followed by a 
train load of 4,000 lbs per lin. ft.," two massive earth-fdl 
embankments, and two long tunnels. The cutoffs were: 
Buford to Laramie; Howell to Huttons; Coopers Lake to 
Lookout: Lookout to Medicine Bow: Allen Junction to 
Dana; Rawlins to Tipton; Green River to Bryan: LeRoy 
to Bear River. 

Buford to Laramie, Wyoming's eastern-most cutoff, 
was "one of the heaviest pieces of grading" completed 
during the entire program. It replaced lengthy wooden 
spans at Dale Creek and Lone Tree Creek with solid dirt 
embankments and iron culverts, and it included a 3,000- 



foot long tunnel near Tie Siding, southeast of Laramie. 
The other extremely difficult project was the LeRoy- 
Bear River Cutoff, near Wyoming's western border 
where construction crews dug Aspen Tunnel, the "larg- 
est single piece of tunnel work performed by the Union 
Pacific Railroad Co."' 

T^E PhysicAl EnvIronmem 

The LeRoy-Bear River Cutoff with its towering 
Aspen Ridge — Sir Richard Burton called it "Quaking 
Asp Hill" — traversed some of the most rugged, harsh, 
yet scenically beautiful and historically interesting coun- 
try on all of the Union Pacific's route through Wyo- 
ming. While travelling by train across the United States 
in 1 877, flamboyant publisher Frank Leslie commented 

'Hardesty, "Construction of the Aspen, Wyoming, Tunnel." 185; 
Trottman, History; 305; Klein, Uiiion Pacific, 29, 55-61. 
"• Hardesty, "Construction of the Aspen, Wyoming. Tunnel," 188; 
"Roadbed Improvements," 142-143; "Revision of Grade." 532, 
534; Trottman, History. 302-03; Klein, Union Pacific, 56. 
' "Features of the Work of Grade Reduction, Union Pacific R.R.." 
Railway and Engineering Review 4\ (February 9, 1901 ),72; "Road- 
bed Improvements," l42-43;EngineeringNews, 185, 187;Trottman, 
History, 302-03; U.S. Department of the Interior. United States 
Geological Survey, Guidebook of the Western United States: Part 
B; The Overland Route, by Willis T. Lee, et al. Bulletin 612 
(Washington. D.C.; GPO, 1916), 77. 



18 




Mormon pioneer 
William Clayton 
traveled to Salt 
Lake City in 1847. 
He recorded 
mileage on the 
trip, wrote a guide 
detailing impor- 
tant points, and 
kept a diary. 



LDS Church Archives, Salt Lake Citv 



that the Aspen Ridge region was "the desolate heart of 
Wyoming."* In technical terms the cutoff was a hydro- 
graphic divide that separated two Rocky Mountain 
drainage basins: 

The waters east of Aspen Ridge find their way down Muddy 
Creek and Black Fork to Green River and thence through 
the Grand Canyon of the Colorado to the Gulf of Calitbrnia. 
Those west of this ridge find their way to Bear River and 
flow by a circuitous route into Great Salt Lake, from which 
they can escape only hy evaporation." 

Nineteenth-century travellers left vivid accounts of 
the imposing ruggedness of Aspen Ridge, Pioneer ex- 
plorer of a route from Fort Bridger to the Great Salt 
Lake, Edwin Bryant, described the passage around 
Aspen Ridge in 1 846 when he declared the mountain to 
be an "impassable barrier of perpendicular red sand- 
stone." A year later Erastus Snow, one of the original 
Mormon emigrants who moved into the Salt Lake 
Valley in 1847, referred to Aspen Ridge when he 
recorded, "Today we passed through several fertile 
vallies [sic] and over two of the most rugged hills we 
have passed on our journey." Writing of the same 
district Sir Richard Burton described a "broken land of 
spurs and hollows," and "curiously shaped hills and 
bluffs of red earth capped with white clay." Frank Leslie 
penned a picturesque description of the region as being 
"long, low bluffs" which "heave wildly all around 
Aspen.,.,"'" 

Early sojourners commented on Aspen Ridge's harsh 
climate. The region's growing season was a scant 
ninety days with the first frost generally appearing in 
early September and the last frost coming as late as June 
6th. William Clayton, Mormon pioneer, recorded in his 
journal on 1 1 July 1847 that his group's water buckets 
had one-quarter inch of ice in the morning when they 



Autumn 1QQ5 
campedonSulphurCreek,just west of Aspen Ridge. In 
early May 1 850, a group of Mormon elders on their way 
east from Salt Lake City to serve missions in Europe, 
crossed over the divide, having to use snow shovels to 
dig their way across Aspen Ridge." On his trip across 
America, Frank Leslie marvelled at the clime' s "shriek- 
ing, savage wind" and wrote: 

Snowshcds and drift fences follow the track almost 
continuously, and at the summit of the divide comes the 
longest shed of the Union Pacific road — 2700 feet of 
arched timbers — through which we go thundering in semi- 
darkness. 

He concluded that the place was a "wild, windy 
region where winter storms rage as no dweller in the 
lowlands can ever picture,,,."'- Oilmen, working the 
mountains and valleys around Quaking Asp Hill at the 
same time railroad crews bored Aspen Tunnel, quickly 
learned that "practically all [oil field] development is at 
a standstill from the first of December to the first of May 
each year,"'" 

Beyond these observations on the rough and harsh 
nature of the land along the LeRoy-Bear River Cutoff, 
some of the initial explorers appreciated the rich and 
beautiful aspect of Aspen Ridge, Edwin Bryant recalled 
seeing "gnarled and stunted cedars, twisted by the 
winds into many fantastic shapes" and a "narrow hol- 
low [Pioneer Hollow],., the bottom of which is covered 
with rank grass, and gay with the bloom of the wild 
geranium and shrubs richly ornamented with a bright 
yellow blossom," As he ascended the ridge Sir Richard 
Burton rejoiced to view a "mixture of colours" and the 
"striking" sight of "converging, diverging, parallel 



•* Richard F. Burton, The Cit}- of the Sawls and Aeross the Rocky 
Mountains to California ( London; Longman, Green, Longman and 
Roberts, 1861 ), 224; Richard Reinhardt, Out Wesron the Overland 
Train (Palo Alto, Calif; American West Publishing Co.. 1967), 85, 
" Department of the Interior, Western United States, 79. 
'" J. Roderic Konis, "West from Fort Bridger." Utah Historical 
Quarterly 19 ( 1931 ); 57; Erastus Snow, "Journey to Zion," Utah 
Humanities Quarterly 2 (April 1948): 272; Burton, dry of the 
Saints, 224; Reinhardt, Out West. 85. 

"U.S. Department of the Interior, LInited States Geological Survey, 
Geography and Geoloi^y of a Portion of Southwestern Wyoiuini; 
with Spciial Reference to Coal and Oil hy A.C. Veatch, Profes- 
sional Paper 56 (Washington. D.C,;GPO, 1907), p. 41; Clayton 
Family Association. William Clayton's Journal (Salt Lake City; 
Deseret News. 1 92 ll. 289; "Journal History of the Church of Jesus 
Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1 830-1972," Copy at Historical Depart- 
ment, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Salt Lake City, 
Utah, (April 20. 1850). 
'- Reinhardt. Out West, 83. 85. 
" Wyoming; Press. January 16, 1904. 



19 



vTvoming Historv Journal 

ridges, with deep ravines....""'^ Captain James Simpson 
who led a scientific expedition into the Great Basin in 
1859, spoke of the barren character of the soils from 
South Pass to the vicinity of Fort Bridger, but com- 
mented that this situation changed dramatically as his 
party travelled westward from the fort into the Aspen 
Mountain province: 

When we approach, how ever, the foot of the western 
mountains, we perceive a great change in the vegetation. 
There are green valleys, diversified with groves of timber, 
and the mountain-sides and uplands are. besides the wild 
sage (Artemisia), thickly covered with nutritious fodder- 
grasses, and partly studded with cedar and pine.'^ 

Captain Jesse A. Gove, Tenth Infantry, United States 
Army, produced a highly intriguing account of the 
beauty of the A,spen Tunnel region. A member of 
General Albert Sidney Johnston's military expedition 
to Utah in 1857-58, Gove served both as an Army 
officer and as a correspondent for the New York Herald. 
His dispatches to the Herald, in combination with 
letters to his wife, Maria, blend a soldier's realistic 
experiences of the hardships encountered in travelling 
through the mid- 19th century American West with an 
idealist's deep appreciation for the aesthetic qualities of 
the landscape between Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and 
Salt Lake City, Utah.'" Along the banks of the North 
Platte River in Wyoming, he saw the imposing Red 
Buttes and proclaimed their charm: 

We are now opposite what is called the Red Buttes; they 
are high bluffs, the banks appearing a fine red. the 
soil being impregnated with oxide of iron. It presents 
a beautiful appearance.' 

Here, too, he noticed the rippling sound of "four little 
mountain rivulets" which, as they went "dashing down 
from the gorges to the plain" for ages, have "quenched 
the thirst of deer, elk, bears, buffalo, and the whole race 
of prairie herds."'" 

Severe weather and possibilities of an early death 
accompanied Captain Gove. West of Red Buttes, he and 
his soldiers spent "one of the coldest nights" of their trip 
thus far, and soon felt the piercing sting of Wyoming's 
rain and "cold, chilling wind." In this, the very region 
where the trapper Osborne Russell endured a cold, rain- 
soaked night of "Egyptian darkness" in 1837, Gove 
experienced a grim reminder of nature' s sterner aspects. 
"Graves are quite common," he wrote to his wife in mid- 
September 1857. "We pass them every day...."" 

Circumstances became unpleasant for Johnston's 
Army which had to winter at Camp Scott, a bivouac site 



near the scorched remains of Fort Bridger where Mor- 
mons had destroyed all useful buildings and supplies 
ahead of the advancing soldiers. While Captain Gove 
lived out the winter in the comfort afforded soldiers of 
his rank, he noted a mishap that befell a cook named 
"Berlieu," one which illustrates the dangers of the 
Aspen Ridge country. The cook was stranded along the 
Bear River and had to spend four days "without food or 
shelter...." When a group of Snake Indians brought 
Berlieu in, he was nearly dead: "His feet are frozen 
badly, as on or near Bear River there is much snow."-" 
Yet Captain Gove retained his "attentive eye" and 
once the Army columns resumed their march into Utah 
Territory in June 1 858, he experienced a feeling of near 
exaltation as he climbed the summit of Aspen Ridge. In 
a dispatch to the New York Herald, he wrote that on his 
ascent he was greeted by "a scene that could truly be 
called grand or sublime." To the south he saw the 
towering "Uinta Mountains. ..covered with snow till 
they were as perfectly white as the brightest cloud in 
heaven." In between himself and the Uintas, "mountain 
on mountain rose and rolled away." Facing him were 
the steep ridges of Aspen Mountain and to the north 
stood Medicine Butte's "lofty circular summit." Once 
west of Quaking Asp Hill, he found that Bear River 
Valley "could not be denominated less than grand." 
That he had the presence of mind to write of these 

'^ Koms. "West from Fort Bridger," 57; Burton. Cin of the Saints. 
224. 

'^ Captain J.H. Simpson, Report of Explorations Across the Great 
Basin of the Territory of Utah for a Direct Wagon-Route from Camp 
Floydto Genoa, in Carson Valley, in /559(Reno. Nevada: Univer- 
.sity of Nevada Press. 198.^). 286-87. 

'" Otis G. Hammond, editor. The Utah Expedition, 1857-1858 
(Concord, N.H.: New Hampshire Historical Society. 1928). 15-17. 
' ■ Hammond. Utah Expedition, 55; Osborne Russell. Journal of a 
Trapper(London: University of Nebraska Press, 1967), 74. 75, 155. 
"* Hammond, Utah Expedition. 55; Russell. Journal, 75, 
''' Ibid., 56, 57. Others bore testimony to the ever-present sight of 
graves along the Western emigration trails. Captain Howard 
Stansbury. leaving the Great Salt Lake after conducting scientific 
studies of the region in 1849 and 1850, passed over Aspen Ridge 
where he reported, "Directly upon the summit, by the side of the 
road, was the fresh grave of some poor fellow who had come thus 
far on his journey to the land of promise-the land he was destined 
never to behold." Brigham D. Madsen, Exploring the Great Salt 
Lake (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press. 1989), 615. 
-" Hammond, Utah Expedition, 146. To say that Captain Gove lived 
in comparative comfort during the 1 857-58 winter is not to suggest 
that he did not suffer the hardships of the extremely cold weather. 
A lengthy description of Johnston's columns approaching Fort 
Bridger in the bitter cold days of early November 1 857 illustrates the 
condition that the soldiers and civilians comprising the "Army of 
Utah" endured. See Raymond W. and Mary Lund Settle, War 
Drums and Wagon Wheels (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 
1966). 7.^. 



20 




Capt. Jesse A. Gove marched nitli the army to 
Utah in 1 857-58. He described the journey in 
letters to his wife and dispatches to the New York 
HeraUi. 

natural wonders testifies to his Emersonian love of 
nature because he recorded seeing them only after going 
through "one of the most disagreeable days 1 ever 
experienced." Afterdescending Aspen Ridge, he crossed 
the Bear River in a rain storm, then stood in the open for 
four hours before recrossing the Bear to go into camp 
with his men. In a letter to his wife he simply concluded, 
"An awful day.'"-' 

Historically, Captain Gove is but one of a great 
procession of pioneer travelers who had marked off a 
route through the ruggedly beautiful Aspen Ridge prov- 
ince before Horace Burt and his railroad's survey crews 
began to scout the LeRoy-Bear River Cutoff. This 
cutoff, with its Aspen Tunnel masterpiece, serves as an 
important segment in the annals of overland transporta- 
tion across Wyoming. Much of its prominence resides 
in its being heir to a trail which immigrants initially 
called Hastings Cutoff , a path that started at Fort Bridger 
and led westward to the Great Salt Lake Basin and 
beyond to the California goldtlelds. 

WAlkER Ai\d EarIv TraveIers 

Hastings Cutoff started as a wagon road in August 
1843 when mountain man Joseph Reddeford Walker 
guided Joseph C. Chiles and a group of California- 



Autumn 1995 
bound sojourners with their wagons out of Fort Bridger, 
over Aspen Ridge, and then down to the Bear River 
Valley." At this time trails through the American West 
were in "a state of tlu.x." and until the summer of 1846 
the Hastings route lacked clear definition. On July 16, 
1846. Edwin Bryant, a former resident of Louisville. 
Kentucky, arrived at Fort Bridger where he met Lansford 
W. Hastings. Hastings had recently arrived at the fort 
from California and reported to Bryant that he had just 
travelled a route that was "perfectly practicable for 
wagons." Bryant and his party's leader. William H. 
Russell, decided to follow the trail Hastings talked 
about, and on July 20, 1846, the Bryant-Russell group 
left Fort Bridger to follow a trace that took them over 
Aspen Ridge.-' 

Edwin Bryant kept a journal of his travels along the 
HastingsCutoff. and this journal described much of the 
route that was to become the LeRoy-Bear Ri\ er Cutoff 
fifty-three years later. Leaving Fort Bridger with Russell 
and eight other men, Bryant remarked that the scenery 
improved greatly. He specifically noted that "the sides 
of the hills and mountains have also in many places 
presented a bright green herbage, and clumps of the 
aspen poplar frequently ornament the hollows near the 
bases of the hills." Clouds appeared during the after- 
noon of the first day out of Fort Bridger. and a rain fell, 
giving the air a "wintry feel." Once the clouds had 
departed Bryant could see that snow had fallen in the 
distant Uinta Mountains.-' 

Aftertravellingappro.ximately fifteen miles. Bryant's 
party camped near Big Muddy in a "handsome little 
valley" that was "richly carpeted with green grass of an 
excellent quality. "Cottonwood trees, willows, and vari- 
ous shrubs grew along Big Muddy's banks, and these 
lent an "agreeable" aspect to the region's landscape. 
The night air was very cold, and when the members of 
the party arose on the morning of July 21, 1846. they 
discovered "ice the thickness of window-glass" in their 
water pails. As yet Bryant and his fellow sojourners had 
not come to the LeRoy-Bear River Cutoff's route.-' 

Leaving camp on July 21, the Bryant-Russell group 
crossed over a naiTO w ridge and entered "another grassy 



-' Hammond. Utah Expedition. 175, .^30-332. 

-- Koms. "West from Fort Bridger," 7. Joseph Reddeford Walker, 

serving as an associate and guide to such Western luminanes as 

Captam B. L. E. Bonneville and John C. Fremont, traveled and 

worked extensivelv throughout the West during the fur-trapping 

and early settlement decades of the 19th century. 

-' Korns. "West from Fort Bridger," 8, 46, 47, 49, 52. 

-■' Ibid., 52. map ("The Hastings Cutoff in Wyomng") between 52- 

53. 56. 

-' Ibid., 56. 



21 



Wyoming History Journal 

valley." This was Spring Valley, and it marks the point 
at which the Hastings Cutoff met the LeRoy-Bear River 
Cutoff. Ascending this valley, "between ranges of low 
sloping hills," James Hudspeth led Bryant and the 
others up a gradual incline to a ridge whose western 
slope was "abrupt and precipitous." This steep ridge 
separated Spring Valley from Pioneer Hollow, a gap 
Bryant described as "being enclosed on either side by 
high elevations" of red and yellow soil. As the nine- 
member party climbed upwards through Pioneer Hol- 
low it met Aspen Ridge which presented an "impass- 
able barrier of red sandstone, rising in perpendicular 
and impending masses."-'' 

Here Aspen Ridge rises southward, forming two 
smaller hills before reaching the summit of Aspen 
Mountain at an elevation of 8,100 feet. The "impass- 
able barrier" that Bryant and his companions faced was 
close to the east entrance to the future Aspen Tunnel, 
and the Bryant-Russell party swung to the north and 
ascended the ridge with "great difficulty." Near the 
crest the group "passed over an elevated plain of gradual 
ascent, covered with wild sage, of so rank and dense a 
growth that we found it difficult to force our way 
through it." Once on the top of Aspen Ridge, Bryant saw 
the deep, broad Stowe Creek Valley which the nine 
travelers followed downward and to the southwest for 
three miles until they came to a narrow gorge that 
curved to the northwest.-' This gorge took them directly 
to the Bear River which Bryant described as "About 
fifty yards in breadth, with a rapid current of limpid 
water foaming over a bed so unequal and rocky, that it 
was difficult, if not dangerous to limbs of mules, when 
fording it."-" 

Although the Bryant-Russell party continued north- 
ward following the Bear River up through the site of the 
present city of Evanston, Wyoming, the LeRoy-Bear 
River Cutoff ends very near the point where these 
pioneers crossed the river on July 21, 1846.-" 

Soon after Edwin Bryant crossed over Aspen Ridge, 
other pioneer groups began to use this new route. Swiss 
immigrant Heinrich Lienhard, migrating with a party he 
called "Hoppe's Company," kept a brief record of his 
traveling from Fort Bridger to the Bear River, noting 
that Hoppe ' s party left the fort on July 26, 1 846, and that 
"many companies ahead of us already had chosen 
Hastings' Cutoff....""' 

MoRMOiN TraveIers 

Nearly one year after the Bryant-Russell expedition, 
a "pioneer company" of Mormon settlers left Winter 
Quarters (Florence, Nebraska) on April 16, 1847, for 
the Rocky Mountains. This company consisted of 73 

22 



wagons, 143 men, three women, and two children. 
Arriving at Fort Bridger on July 7, they stayed near the 
fort until July 9 when they resumed their journey. 
Embarking on Hastings Cutoff, one Mormon chroni- 
cler observed, "Fortunately for us a party of emigrants 
bound for the Coast of California passed this way last 
Fall, though their trail is now in rrtany places scarcely 
discemable."" 

Several members of the company kept journals while 
traveling to the Great Basin. Among them was William 
Clayton, a Latter-day Saint scribe who compiled a 
guide which recorded the trip's mileage and notable 
geographic features, and who wrote a journal that 
represents one of the "finest firsthand accounts of that 
memorable crossing."'- His descriptions of the nature 
of the road between Fort Bridger and the Bear River tell 
a vivid story of the trail that ran nearly parallel to the 
future LeRoy-Bear River Cutoff. 

Departing Fort Bridger on July 9, 1847, William 
Clayton's party traveled westward for six and one- 
quarter miles before they ascended a "long, steep hill." 
They proceeded along its relatively level summit for 
several miles until they came to an "almost perpendicu- 
lar" slope which they descended with great difficulty. 
They crossed Big Muddy Creek, a twelve-foot wide 
stream of clear water and "plenty of bunch grass and 
willows." Here, after spending a warm, dusty, windy 
day on the road, they camped for the night.'' As with the 
Bryant-Russell party, the Mormon group had not yet 
reached the point where the Hastings and LeRoy-Bear 
River cutoffs intersected. 

On July 10, the company resumed its journey. Go- 
ing three and one-half miles, the Mormon pioneers 

-" Ibid., map between 52-53, 57. 

-' U.S., Department of the Interior, United States Geological Sur- 
vey, "Sulphur Creek Reservoir Quadrangle: Wyoming-Uinta Co." 
7.5 Minute Series (Topographic) ( 1965 [Photorevised 1 978]); Koms, 
"West from Fort Bridger," 58. 
-« Ibid., 58. 

-" Ibid., map between 52-53. 
'"Ibid., 111-112, 117-118. 

" Russell R. Rich, Ensign to the Nations (Prove, Utah: Brigham 
Young University Publications, 1972), 101, 104; Church Education 
System, Church History in the Fulness of Times (Salt Lake City: 
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1989), 329-331 ; Snow, 
"Journey to Zion," 271-272. 

'- James B. Allen, Trials of Discipleship (Urbana and Chicago: 
University of Illinois Press, 1987), 221-22, 227-28. 
" Clayton ViimAy Journal, 286-87; Clayton, The Latter-day Saints' 
Emigrants' Guide (St. Louis, Mo.: Republican Steam Press-Cham- 
bers & Knapp, 1848), 18. The hill that Clayton's party ascended is 
the mesa-flat surface of Bigelow Bench. U.S. Department of the 
Interior, United States Geological Survey. "LeRoy Quadrangle; 
Wyoming - Uinta Co." 7.5 Minute Series (Topographic)(1965 
[Photorevised 1978]). 



came to a "small copperas spring at the foot of a 
mountain a little to the left of the road." This is where 
the Hastings and LeRoy-Bear River cutoffs joined. The 
company followed the Bryant-Russell trail up an in- 
cline through Spring Valley to the "summit of a high 
ridge." The trip down the western side of this ridge was 
very steep and rough, and the Mormons "found it 
necessary to halt and fix the road." Soon after overcom- 
ing this delay they ran into a barrier of "huge rocks" 
which caused them to stop again to create a passageway. 
Still further dow nhill they halted a third time at a spot 
where "the brethren had to dig a place considerably to 
make a pass between two mountains." Within a half an 
hour, they completed a path big enough to move the 
wagons through. Clayton wrote the descent was "lengthy, 
and some tedious" and "dangerous to wagons."'" 

Twenty miles west of Fort Bridger. they passed a 
second "copperas" spring, then traveled to a place 
where a "beautiful low bottom filled with grass" greeted 
them. This was the eastern end of Pioneer Hollow . From 
there, their route turned southward to lead through a 
"narrow ravine." After finding two springs of good 
water along a creek, the party "began to ascend the 
dividing ridge between the Colorado waters and the 
great basin." Here they discovered that they had to 
"make a crooked road to gain the summit." They were 
now climbing Aspen Ridge which crested at 7.700 feet, 
and were at a point approximately one and one-half 
miles south of where the Bryant-Russell group crossed 
over the divide in 1 846. Once on top of the ridge they 
saw to the south the 8, 100-foot peak of Aspen Mountain 
where three bears ambled along in clear sight." 

On the Bear River side of Aspen Ridge. Clayton's 
party locked the wheels of their wagons and descended 
cautiously for one and one-half miles because of the 
steep slope. On their way down they encountered a 
place where "the road seems suddenly to be shut up by 
a high mountain ahead." This was the narrow gap that 
the Bryant-Russell company squeezed through on their 
way down Stowe Creek to Bear River Valley. The 
Mormons deviated from Bryant's route at this point by 
turning to the south to climb over Oyster Shell Ridge, a 
"high ridge" that separated Stowe Creek Valley from 
Sulphur Creek. Once off the ridge they crossed Sulphur 
Creek, a ten-foot wide stream dotted with willows and 
small cedars, and set up camp at 7;45 p.m.. after "having 
traveled this afternoon nine miles and during the day 
eighteen over the most mountainous course we have yet 
seen."" 

July 1 1 was a Sunday, so the party stayed in camp to 
rest, hold prayer meetings, and explore the region. 
During the day they discovered a "strong sulphur spring," 



Autumn 1 QQ5 
a "bed of stone coal," a "noble spring of pure, cold 
water," and a "tar or oil spring" that some would later 
call "Brigham Young Oil Spring." The next morning, 
Clayton and his companions broke camp and passed 
over a "very steep little hill" that led to Bear River 
Valley which was the end of their trace along the 
LeRoy-Bear River Cutoff. 

In August 1847 a group of the original Mormon 
pioneer company, returning to Winter Quarters, Ne- 
braska, discovered that they did not have to retrace the 
"toilsome road" they had used through Spring Valley 
and up Pioneer Hollow on their trip to the Great Salt 
Lake. By staying to the higher ground to the south and 
east of the original cutoff leading from the Big Muddy 
to Aspen Ridge, travelers could avoid the rugged terrain 
that the immigrants of 1846 and 1847 had struggled 
across. Consequently, east of Aspen Mountain the 
"Ridge Road of 1848-68" was substantially different 
from the route that Edwin Bryant and William Clayton 
described in their journals." 

By 1849, Hastings Cutoff had become "jammed 
with traffic." Perhaps 15,000 gold seekers traveled the 
route between 1 849 and 1 850 after the discovery of gold 
in California had moved "a vast multitude" of people to 
rush across the continent" s "immense plains and deserts, 
and over tremendous mountains, flushed with high 
hopes and eager to fill their coffers with the glittering 
dust." Mormon Church historical records estimate that 
nearly 19,000 Mormon immigrants used the trail from 
Fort Bridger into Salt Lake City between 1 847 and 
1 855. Soon after the trains of 1 846 and 1 847 had ended 
their journeys, however, wayfarers quickly forgot the 
title Hastings Cutoff and simply began calling the route 
from Fort Bridger to Salt Lake City "the Mormon 
Trail." or as Captain Howard Stansbury called it in 
1850. "the Mormon Road."'" 

'"■ Clayton F'dm\\y. Joi<nuil. 287-88; Koms. "West from Fort Bridger." 
map between ?2-53; Clayton, Emignmts' Guide. 18. 
"' Clayton Family, Joiinial. 288; Clayton. Emigniins' Guide. 18; 
Korns. "West from Fort Bridger." map between 52-53. 
* Clayton Family , yoHnx;/. 288-89; Koms. "West from Fort Bridger." 
map between 52-53; Department of the Interior. "Sulphur Creek 
Reservoir"; Clayton, Einii;niiits' Guide. 18. Sir Richard Burton 
called Oyster Shell Ridge "Rim Base." Describing his descending 
this ridge to Sulphur Creek, he stated that the creek "lies at the foot 
of a mountain called Rim Base, because it is the Eastern wall of the 
Great Inland Basm; westward of this point the waters can no longer 
reach the Atlantic or Pacific..." Burton. Ciry ot the Sainr.'i. 225. 
" Clayton Family. Journal. 288-89; Clayton. Emignints ' Guide. 24. 
'"Korns. "West from Fon Bridger." 57, and map between 52-53. 
'" Langw orthy. Scenery . iii; Fred R. Govs ans and Eugene E. Campbell. 
Fort Bridger (?m\o. Utah: BYU Press. 1975). 34; LDS Historical 
Office. Church Emigration Book: I (n.p). n.p.; Charles Kelly. "Gold 
Seekers on the Hastings Cutoff." Utah Historical Quarterly 20 
(January 1952), 9, \3;Madien. Exploring the Great Salt Lake, 146. 

23 




»ff ••» 



tsv «*' *■'* *** 



From Railway and Engineering Review, Aug. 17, 1901. 



24 



Profile of topography of ralln f 
Wflalwagd lay Bail, W .i| 



1 



Autumn IQQ: 




(Above): Steam shovel and tram cars at the east entrance to Aspen 
Tunnel. Note the house above the entrance and the ventilation pipe 
leading into the heading. (Below): Pioneer Gulch, east entrance to 
Aspen Tunnel. 



i;s;j»ir^i^);v:yC ■ 




Steel I-beams bent from tunnel's 
tremendous lateral force. 




st0 ro0 »p0 «»rt 



iha, Nebraska to Saaamento, California. 
1c D.Appteton & Company, 1871. 




25 



W^voniinti History Journal 



ThE SiAqE RoAd 

Before the Union Pacific constructed its original 
grade over Aspen Ridge, travelers applied one last title 
to a network oftrails that included Hastings Cutoff from 
Fort Bridger to Salt Lake City: "The Old Overland 
Stage Route." As early as 1 854, John M. Hockaday and 
William Liggett transported mail, express packages, 
and passengers from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Salt Lake 
City, using Hastings' route over Aspen Ridge. Their 
service required twenty-one days to complete the jour- 
ney that Hockaday and Liggett performed with "a 
limited number of light, cheap vehicles," a scant num- 
ber of animals, and no stations along the route." 

In May 1 859 two freighters, William Hepburn Russell 
of Russell, Majors and Waddell, and John S. Jones 
purchased Hockaday and Liggett" s company and im- 
proved stagecoach express service from St. Joseph to 
Salt Lake City. Establishing stations along their route, 
one near Big Muddy Creek and another at Bear River, 
Russell and Company used new Concord coaches and 
shortened the time of the trip to ten days each way.-" 
Each coach had a team of "six handsome horses or 
mules" which the company changed approximately 
every ten miles. A conductor, "the legitimate captain of 
the strange craft in its long journey across the conti- 
nent," was in charge of baggage, mail, express, and 
passengers, while a driver operated the coach, traveling 
at a rate of eight or ten miles an hour on "good roads. "■"- 
Despite the efficiency of their stagecoach service, 
Russell and Jones suffered economic difficulties from 
the very beginning of their operations. Even when 
Russell initiated the famous and financially successful 
Pony Express in 1860. he and all of his associated 
freighting ventures went bankrupt. Ben Holladay. an- 
other transportation entrepreneur, purchased Russell's 
stagecoach company and began running his own daily 
passenger and mail service from Atchison, Kansas to 
Salt Lake City. Maintaining forty-six stations between 
Denver and Salt Lake City, Holladay added Quaking 
Asp Springs to the two already existing between Fort 
Bridger and Bear River. After four years of prosperity 
Holladay sold his holdings to Wells. Fargo and Com- 
pany, thus completing a "grand consolidation of all the 
major express and stagecoach lines west of the Mis- 
souri."-" 

A number of hi.storically interesting passengers trav- 
eled the "Old Overland Stage Route" as it followed 
Hastings Cutoff from Fort Bridger, over Aspen Ridge, 
and down to the Bear River crossing. On May 9, 1 859, 
Horace Greeley , A^evv York Tribune editor, embarked on 

26 



"a most remarkable journey" from New York to San 
Francisco. Boarding a stagecoach at Atchison, he passed 
through Denver, up to Fort Laramie, and west to Fort 
Bridger before entering Lansford Hastings' route to 
Salt Lake City by way of Aspen summit. West of Fort 
Bridger, Greeley ' s coach followed along a "high, broad 
ridge," then descended a "steep, rocky, difficult hill" to 
Big Muddy Creek. While this trip's passengers were 
scheduled to stay over night at the Muddy station, their 
conductor "wisely decided" to proceed westward as far 
as possible before stopping for the night." Of this 
portion of the journey Greeley recorded: 

We moved on a little after sundown, rising over another 
broad ridge [Aspen Summit], and. after narrowly escaping 
an up.set in a gully dug in the trail hy that day's violent 
shower, camped 15 miles on. a little after 1 1 P.M. The sky 
was densely clouded: the moon nearly down; it was raining a 
little and blowing more, as we lay down to rest, most of us 
under the sullen sky.''-'^ 

At dawn the next day, Greeley's party resumed their 
journey, traveling the "three or four miles" distance to 
the stage line's Bear River station where they stopped 
for breakfast. A grocery store made of "boxes which 
had once contained goods," and a blacksmith's shop 
were the only buildings at the station. Being offered 
"sardines, canned lobster, and prepared coffee," vari- 
ous passengers demanded whisky and became "indig- 
nantly disgusted at its non-production." After obtaining 
"some kind of 'rot," as the fiery beverage was currently 

■"' Emmett D. Chisum. "Boom Towns on the Union Pacific," Annals 
of Wyoming 53 (Spring 1981 ): 10: U. S. Department of the Interior, 
Geography and Geology, Plate XXVI: C.B. Coutant. History of 
Wyoming and "Tlie Far West " ( Ann Arbor: University Microfilms, 
1966). 362: Henry Inman and William F. Cody, The Great Salt Lake 
rra;7(Williamstown. Mass.: Comer House Publishers, 1978), 214. 
"" Lamar, Reader's Encyclopedia. 188, 1053: Inman and Cody, 
Great Salt Lake Trail, 213: Elizabeth Arnold Stone, Uinta County 
(Laramie, Wyo.: Laramie Printing Company, 1924), 76: Paul Bai- 
ley. Holy Smoke (Los Angeles. California: Westemlore Books. 
1978). 104. 105: Settle, War Drums. 53-55. 71-73. 77-80: Lamar. 
Reader's Encyclopedia, 1053. 1054. United States, 35th Congress, 
1st Session, House of Representatives. Contracts-Utah Expedition 
Executive Document No. 99 (Washington: G.P.O.. 1858), 1-5. 
■*- Inman and Cody. Salt Lake Trail, 214. 

''Lamar. Reader's Encyclopedia, 506, 949. 1054. 1251: J.V. 
Frederick. Ben Holladay. The Stagecoach King (Glendale. Califor- 
nia: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 1940), 64, 103: Table of 
Distances of the Overland Daily Stage Line, from Atchison, Kansas, 
to Great Salt Lake City (New York: Slote & James, 1863), n.p. 
■"Horace Greeley. An Overland Journey from New York to San 
Francisco in the Summer of 1859 (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 
1964), xi, xxii, xxiii, 13, 168: Frank A. Root and William Elsey 
Connelley, The Overland Stage to California ( Glorieta, New Mexico: 
The Rio Grande Press, Inc., 1970), 27. 
■■^Greeley, Overland Journey, 168. 



designated," from a nearby establishment, Greeley and 
his companions forded the Bear River, "a swift, rocky- 
bottomed creek, now perhaps forty yards wide, but 
hardly three feet deep...." Here the group veered to the 
west and traveled up Stagecoach Hollow, leaving be- 
hind the route that nine years later would approximate 
the Union Pacific's roadbed up Bear River Valley, 
toward Evanston, Wyoming.* 

Sir Richard Burton was another prominent traveler 
on the stagecoach route from St. Joseph and he left a 
particularly vivid record of crossing over Aspen Ridge 
on his way to "Gt.S.L. City." His stagecoach ride began 
on August 7, 1860, at "precisely 8:00 A.M" when "the 
vehicle destined to be our home for the ne.xt three 
weeks" arrived at the Patie Hotel, "the Fifth Avenue 
Hotel of St. Jo." Reaching Fort Bridger in late August, 
Burton stayed overnight, then resumed his journey. 
Between the fort and Big Muddy Creek his Concord 
coach encountered a steep, "zigzag" course with a 
"rough stone wall" running along many of the path's 
sharper turns. Once at Muddy Creek station he met the 
innkeeper whom he described as "a chatty lively good- 
humoured fellow blessed with a sour English wife." 
The wife. Burton conjectured, was probably under the 
influence of August's 95-degree Fahrenheit weather — 
at noon and in the shade.'" 

Burton's description of Hastings Cutoff's geogra- 
phy from Big Muddy Creek to Bear River is classic. 
Bidding "adieu" to Muddy' s .station master at midday. 
Burton and his fellow sojourners entered a '"broken 
land" of hills, spurs, ridges, and red bluffs thick with 
"tall firs and pines" and "note-paper-coloured trunks of 
the ravine-loving quaking asp." Over the summit of 
"Quaking Asp Hill," he began a long, sharp, and "ex- 
ceedingly devious" descent toward Sulphur Creek. The 
road was lined with "stunted oak, black-jack, and box- 
elder of the stateliest stature" while on the slopes above 
grew "the wild cherry" and below "the service tree" 
filled the hollows.'" Burton explained that his stage- 
coach's descent was so breathtakingly rapid that: 

Oftentimes when the block of wood which formed 
our break dropped a bit of the old shoe-sole nailed 
upon it to prevent ignition, I felt, as a man may be 
excused for feeling, that catching of the breath 
thai precedes the first five-barred gate after a 
night of "heavy wet."""'"' 

Once off Aspen Ridge Burton states, "As the rays of 
the sun began to slant we made Sulphur Creek." Beyond 
this creek the country ' s physical condition changed into 
a "confused" upheaval of '"huge masses of rock and 
mountains broken by deep kanyons [sic], ravines, and 



Autumn 1995 
water-gaps, and drained by innumerable streamlets." 
Burton was now traveling through a region that more 
than a century later geologists would call the "'0\ erthrust 
Belt." After crossing Sulphur Creek the coach pro- 
ceeded through a "small divide" that led to "the plain of 
the Bear River a translation of the Indian Kuiyapa." 
From here Burton, like William Clayton, Horace Greeley 
and so many others before him, departed from the future 
course of the Union Pacific's route, and followed the 
stage road due west into Utah."' 

RAliROAd ExploRATiON 

Four years after Burton's stagecoach adventure over 
Aspen Summit, Samuel B. Reed, an engineer for the 
newly formed Union Pacific Railroad, explored the 
same region to select the railroad's original route lead- 
ing through the Aspen region. Supplied out of Mormon 
storehouses in Utah Territory in the summer of 1864, 
Reed led a survey party north from Salt Lake City to the 
mouth of Weber Canyon. Following the "deep narrow 
gorge" of the Weber River to its junction with Echo 
Creek and then turning eastward to Bear River, he 
became filled with an appreciative sen.se of nature: 

The challenge of finding a good line through the wilder 
ness drove [Reed] joyously onward. He came to love 
the country itself-its spectacular beauty, the hard, clean 
brilliance of the air. the warm days, and cold nights when 
ice as thick as window panes formed on the dishes even 

'"Ibid.. 169-171); Koms. "West from Fort Bridger." map between 

'" Burton. City of the Saints. 220, 22.^. The "zigzag" course is 
probably at Meyers Ridge which leads off Bigelow Bench four 
miles south of the place where Clayton"s party departed the bench. 
U.S. Department of Interior, United States Geological Survey. 
"Hague Creek Quadrangle: Wyoming-Uinta Co." 7.5 Minute Series 
(TopographicK 1963 [Photorevised 1978]); Department of the Inte- 
rior. "LeRoy Quadrangle."" 
'^ Burton. C;Yv nf the Saints. 224. 

'" Ibid., 224. J.H. Beadle, Western author and editor of the Salt Lake 
Reporter from 1 869 to 1871. traveled the stage route over Aspen 
Ridge in the summer of 1 869. His descnption resembles Burton's 
account. Beadle added, however, that a "dug way" led down the 
steep western slope of "Quakenasp Hill." Stone, Uinta Cotmty, 81. 
"' Burton. City of the Saints. 225. In 1 905 A.C. "Veatch analyzed the 
province's disturbed geology. After studying the log of an oil 
company "s well near the old overland stage route along Sulphur 
Creek. Veatch concluded, "the strata here |at the oil company"s site] 
are on the upper edge of an overturned and faulted syncline. and the 
bottom of the well is in younger strata than the top." U. S. Depart- 
ment of the Interior, Geography and Geology. 146. In the 1970s 
petroleum geologists pieced together a more precise picture of the 
character of this region, defining it as a part of the vast Rocky 
Mountain chain they called the "Overthrust Belt" which runs from 
Alaska to Mexico. 

27 



Wvo 



vo nil lit; 



Histoiy J 



on' ournal 



in summer. Life was elemental and palpable, stripped of 
all cant, transparent in its excitement as well as its dangers. 
Reed had made in fact what would become in fiction a 
central theme of American experience: the pilgrimage 
from civilization back to nature.^' 

From Bear River, Reed's survey party traveled to 
Sulphur Creek and climbed over Aspen Ridge before 
winding downward along the course of Big Muddy 
Creek to Black's Fork and Green River where they 
found the country to be mostly "desert unrelieved by 
vegetation except for scattered patches of greasewood 
and sagebrush." Reed turned back to Salt Lake City 
where, in mid-August, he "pitched his tent in Brigham 
Young's yard."'- 

Following Reed's survey, and nearly one quarter of 
a century after Walker guided Joseph Chiles and his 
party's wagons over Aspen Ridge, harbingers of the 
Union Pacific's advance began to appear. In 1867 
Moses Byrne and his wife, Katherine, settled on Aspen 
Ridge's eastern slope at a place known as Piedmont 
where loggers soon built a tent town to serve as their 
headquarters for manufacturing wooden ties for the 
Union Pacific Railroad. At first Moses Byrne's settle- 
ment was known as Byrne but this name was too similar 
to a nearby Union Pacific station called Bryan, so 
residents of Byrne began calling their community "Pied- 



mont" in honor of Katherine Byrne and her sister Marie 
M. Cardon Guild, wife of a second pioneer resident of 
Piedmont, Charles Guild. Katherine Byrne and Marie 
Guild were originally from Piedmont, Italy.'- 

West of Aspen summit, at a site on Sulphur Creek "in 
a little valley at the mouth of a ravine, where the old 
overland stage road comes down from the north of 
Quaking Asp Mountain," a second logging camp called 
Gilmer came into existence in 1867 to house "timber 
drivers, tree choppers and their families."'^ Gilmer 
derived its name from Jack Gilmer, "the Western Stage- 
coach King," who once served as a division superinten- 
dent for Ben Holladay's stage line, and who later built 

- 'Klein. Union Pacific. 54. 

'■ Ibid.. 5,^-55. Simultaneously, James A. Evans, a second engineer 
for the Union Pacific Railroad, surveyed the route westward into 
Wyoming from the Nebraska border to Green River. The town of 
Evanston. Wyoming, which came into being as the railroad ex- 
tended its onginal grade up Bear River Valley in late 1 868, took its 
name from Evans. Stone. Uinta County. 85. 
" Stone. Uinta Count}-. 88; Phyllis J. Martin, Uinta County Cf;?i- 
eten- Records {Evan^lon.Wyo.: Phyllis J. Martin. 1983). 229. 283. 
■■' Stone. Uinta County. 88; Clifford C. Stuart. Jr.. "Piedmont- 
Profile of a Ghost Town," Annals of Wyoming 41 (Spring 1969), 
126; Kate B. Carter. Our Pioneer Heritage (Salt Lake City: 
Daughters of Utah Pioneers. 1971 ). 14: 181. 182;Chisum. 
"Boom Towns." 10; Margaret MacAllister. "Bear River City." 
Annals of Wyoming 4\ (Spring 1969). 125. 



4<. 






¥»: 










.f^' 







John S. Casement 
(above). His crews 
laid track up Big 
Muddy Creek (left) 



28 



Both Photos: Andrew J. Russell Collection, The Oakland Museum of California 



Autui 



IQQ5 



u 



u 



•j-~.\ 




■■^v^-^4,^V,.v*.^"^ 



'■V*A*? 



'^mu^. 



"^Ns-^^W . . 






t/f graders' camp. Qnuklni^ Asp Hill 



his own transportation empire. In 1 868 the settlement of 
Gilmer became i<nown as Bear River City, a railroad 
town of an estimated 2,000 residents. This settlement 
aspired to become a permanent rail center and at one 
time contained boarding houses, Legh Freeman's Fron- 
tier Index newspaper, a number of saloons and gam- 
bling establishments. Alex Topence's slaughter house, 
general stores, a shoe shop, and Throp, Head and 
Steele's coal mine which produced seven-dollar-a-ton 
coal from a nearby vein at Oyster Shell Ridge. The 
general stores carried a "large stock of goods in hopes 
that the town would become the winter quarters for the 
railroad." By mid-November 1 868, violence had rocked 
Bear River City to such an extent that vigilantes hanged 
three outlaws, and soon after approximately twenty- 
one men died in a "display of musketry" that caused the 
federal government to send troops from Fort Bridger to 
establish martial law in the town. Once construction 
workers had laid tracks close to Bear River City, the 
Union Pacific refused to provide a siding into the 
settlement. The boomtown went out of business, leav- 
ing few signs of its ever having existed." 

Soon after the founding of Piedmont and Gilmer, 
General Jack Casement, "star of the [Union Pacific's] 
track forces," drove his Irish rail layers into the Hastings 
Cutoff region. Crossing Red Desert in August 1 868 and 
Green River in September, Casement pushed hard for 
Aspen Summit and beyond so that he could "get into the 
Salt Lake valley before the heavy snows fall." His route. 



following the banks of Big Muddy Creek, bypassed 
Fort Bridger by sweeping eleven miles north of the old 
trapper's outpost.'" 

Keeping to the Big Muddy, Casement curved his 
tracks southward as the creek curved, then turned east- 
ward at Muddy Creek Butte and south again at Dog 
Springs, continuing all the time to hug the stream. 
Staying west of the steep Meyers Ridge as it rose toward 
Aspen Ridge, the general took his rails uphill from Dog 
Springs, elevation 6,843 feet, to Piedmont, 7,059 feet, 
where "great stacks of ties" awaited his crews. He was 
in a hurry but the next nine miles to the top of Aspen 
Ridge were arduous, causing his tracklayers to put 
down a road over the "highest fillsanddeepest cuts, all 
done by hand labor, anywhere on the Union Pacific's 
original route." Ascending the ridge south of the sum- 
mit of Aspen Mountain, Casement pursued an "exceed- 
ingly sinuous" course to negotiate Horseshoe Bend, 
elevation 7,380 feet, then topped the ridge at the "cel- 

" George A. Thompson, Throw Down the Box' (Salt Lake Cily: 
Dream Garden Press. 1989), 100; Chisum. "Boom Towns." 10- 
12; Carter, Pioneer Heritage. 125, 126. 
'" Barry B. Combs. Westward to Promontory- (New York: 
Promontory Press. 1969), Ay. Edwin L. Sabin. Building the 
Union Pacific /?n(7Hm- (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Co.. 1919), 
172, 173. 178; Robert G. Atheam. Union Pacific Country- 
(Chicago: Rand McNally. 1971 ), 67; L.C. Bishop. Historical 
Emigrant Road Series (Cheyenne: Wyoming State Archives & 
Historical Dcpt.. cl9,S9). sheet 4; Koms, "West from Fort 
Bridger," map between 52-53. 

29 



Wyoming History Journal 

ebrated Tapioca Hill, a difficult piece of road to operate 
at all times of the year, requiring helping engines for 
heavy trains in both directions." At nearly 7,500 feet, 
the Union Pacific's rails seemed to hang "high in air."" 
The season was late as General Casement began his 
Aspen Ridge descent to Bear River City. Following the 
course of Aspen Creek to LaChapella Creek at 7,293 
feet. Casement led his Irish workers through Rock Cut, 
onto Hilliard Flat — site of the future railroad and lum- 
ber manufacturing community of Hilliard — and then 
northwest to Gilmer [later known as Bear River City].** 
But. as his "army of workers" drove their rails 
through a gap from Gilmer to the Bear River's "broad, 
marshy flood plain,"'" and northward toward Evanston, 
the weather turned against Casement: 

Upon the heights winter was marshaling its snow and cold as 
an army of occupation. The advance already possessed the 
weighted pines and denuded the feebler aspens; the grade was 
beleaguered by ambush — the white-clad soldiers had arrived 
in millions. In close touch with the stage once more, the 
rails plunged down for the Wasatch passes, thirty miles 
before; struck the Bear River and waiting Bear River City, 
of unsavory reputation; crossed on a trestle 600 feet long, 
advanced through the Wasatch pass. 1000 feet lower than 
Aspen, toiled through the Evanston coal depot (named for 
James Evans, late division engineer), where the snow was 
climbing for the eaves of the clustered shacks and 
staggering on, hard beset, with the end of the year 
established winter terminus at the rude haven of Wasatch...."" 

This original grade through the Aspen Ridge portion 
of Hastings Cutoff served the Union Pacific for thirty- 
three years. Horace G. Burt' s excursions into the region 
in 1898. however, heralded his railroad company's 
intent to alter the old road in much the same manner as 
the establishment of Piedmont and Gilmer foretold the 
eventual approach of General Casement's Irish 
tracklayers. Designing a new route the Union Pacific 
called LeRoy-Bear River Cutoff Burt's chief engineer. 
J.B. Berry, planned a line that eliminated 9.56 miles of 
track and lowered the route by 200 feet between LeRoy 
and Bear River."' 

Berry's new line followed Big Muddy Creek to 
Muddy Creek Butte, but there it left the original grade 
and turned southwest to follow Antelope Creek. As it 
gained ahitude toward the railroad company's new 
coal-mining town called Spring Valley, it joined Edwin 
Bryant's 1846 trail leading into Pioneer Hollow where 
in 1 847 William Clayton wrote that members of the first 
Mormon emigrants "had to dig a place considerably to 
make a pass between two mountains." Ascending Pio- 
neer Hollow, the railroad's new path ran into Aspen 
Ridge, Bryant's "impassable barrier," two miles north 
of the peak of Aspen Mountain. Instead of detouring 

30 



around this barrier as the Bryant-Russell party had 
done, the Union Pacific drew up elaborate plans to drive 
its 5,900-foot Aspen Tunnel straight through the steep 
ridge. On the west side of this barrier the railway's route 
rejoined Bryant's trail to descend Stowe Creek, pass 
through a gap between Oyster Shell and Knight ridges, 
and continue downward to Bear River Valley, approxi- 
mately four miles north of where the original grade 
came onto the flood plain."- 

ThE AspEN TumneI 

Key to the entire LeRoy-Bear River Cutoff was 
Aspen Tunnel. Being the longest tunnel the railroad 
completed during its 1 899 to 1 90 1 scheme of projects in 
Wyoming, contemporary writers billed it as "one of the 
greatest features of improvement" that the Union Pa- 
cific accomplished in these years."' Civil engineer W.P. 
Hardesty of Salt Lake City drew attention to the strate- 
gic nature of the tunnel when he wrote: 

-" Koms, "West from Fort Bridger," map between 52-53; U.S. 
Department of the Interior. United States Geological Survey, "Ragan 
Quadrangle: Wyoming-Uinta Co." 7.5 Minute Series (Topo- 
graphic)(1965 [Photorevised 1978]); Department of the Interior, 
"LeRoy Quadrangle"; Department of the Intenor, "Hague Creek"; 
Department of the Interior. "Piedmont Reservoir Quadrangle"; 
Sabin. Biuldini; the Union Pacific, 178, 181; D. Ray Wilson. 
Wyoming Historical Tour Guide (Carpentersville. III.: Crossroads 
Communications. 1984), 98: Hardesty. "Constructionof the Aspen. 
Wyoming. Tunnel." 185; "Revision of Grades." 534. 
'"Department of the Interior. "Piedmont Reservoir Quadrangle"; 
Department of the Interior. "Sulphur Creek Reservoir Quadrangle." 
Hilliard came into existence as a railroad station and charcoal- 
manufacturing community soon after the Union Pacific laid its rails 
across Hilliard Flat. In 1872 the Hilliard Flume and Lumber 
Company began to construct a thirty-mile "V" shaped trough from 
Gold Hill in the Uinta Mountains to Hilliard. Members of the flume 
company included William Sloan. John W. Kerr. Fred Meyers. 
Homer King, and Alexander Topence. The flume took three years 
to complete and cost them $ 1 75,000. Tie hacks in the Uintas floated 
"immense quantities of lumber, ties, telegraph poles, cordwood" 
down the flume. Thirty-two beehive-shaped kilns at Hilliard u.sed 
four-foot-long cordwood to produce charcoal for smelting furnaces 
in Salt Lake City, Virginia City, Eureka, and San Francisco. In the 
1870s Hilliard had a population of 400 citizens. Carter. Pioneer 
Heritage, 182; L.J. Colton, "Early Day Timber Cutting Along the 
Upper Bear River," Utah Historical Quarterly 35 (Summer 1967), 
204-207; Margaret Moore Lester, From Rags to Riches (Evanston, 
Wyo.: 1st Impressions, 1992), 4. 

™ Chisum, "Boom Towns," 3, 11; Department of the Interior, 
Guidebook of the Western United States, 80. 
"° Sabin, Building the Union Pacific. 181. 

"' Wyoming Press, May 3, 1902; Hardesty, "Construction of the 
Aspen, Wyoming. Tunnel," 188. 

"- Koms, "West from Fort Bridger," map between 52-53. 57; 
Department of the Interior. "Ragan Quadrangle"; "Piedmont Re.ser- 
voir Quadrangle"; "Sulphur Creek Reservoir Quadrangle"; "Millis 
Quadrangle. "Clayton Family. Journal, 288. 
"' Wyoming Press. May 3, 1902. 



The new line is much more direct and requires less of 
a climb [than the original grade over Aspen Ridge], hut 
to secure this advantage it has been necessary to 
construct a tunnel of unusual length." 

Union Pacific officials designed Aspen Tunnel to 
cover a distance of 5,900 feet with a west-to-east dip of 
0.4%. They located the tunnel at a point where the ridge 
rose to a height of nearly 7,750 feet. To reduce the 
tunnel's length designers planned long, deep open-cut 
approaches to both the east and west portals. Estimating 
that very little of the tunnel's interior would require 
timber bracing. Union Pacific planners felt that solid 
rock within the bore would support the major portion of 
the walls which were designed to be seventeen feet high 
with an arched ceiling curving upward for another eight 
feet. The tunnel's floor was to be fourteen feet wide at 
track level and sixteen feet at a point fourteen feet above 
the floor, thus allowing room for a single track to am the 
length of the tunnel. To accelerate construction, work- 
ers were to dig a shaft over the tunnel's center line, 
approximately 3,050 feet from the east entrance. Once 
this shaft reached the level of the tunnel roof 33 1 feet 
from the surface of Aspen Ridge, laborers would then 
dig outward toward both the east and west entrances."' 

Con.struction crews began working on Aspen Tun- 
nel on November 16, 1899, thirty-one years to the 
month after General Jack Casement marched his 
tracklayers into the Aspen Ridge region. Kilpatrick 
Brothers and Collins of Beatrice, Nebraska, was the 
general contractor for the tunnel project, and S.D. 
Kilpatrick established his company's headquarters at 
Aspen Station from where he shuttled "tons of sup- 
plies" daily to the various camp and construction sites. 
W.C. Weedin of Evanston served as the tunnel's resi- 
dent engineer while Daniel Lyon supervised the first 
construction phase which included the sinking of the 
331 -foot shaft."" 

As workers dug the shaft Kilpatrick built a large 
power plant in Pioneer Hollow, approximately one-half 
mile east of the tunnel" s east portal. This plant included 
four boilers and three air compressors to operate air 
drills and scoop shovels, and to provide fresh air for the 
shaft and the tunnel. In addition this facility housed an 
"extensive machine shop" and an "immense electric 
light plant.""' 

While one set of workers excavated the shaft other 
men began scooping out the tunnel's approaches and 
headings (the eight-foot tall ceilings). On the east side 
of Aspen Ridge Kilpatrick' s employees cut a 2,200- 
foot-long approach through Pioneer Hollow and re- 



Autumn 1QQ5 
moved 250,000 cubic yards of material before com- 
inencing work on the heading on April 12. 1900. At the 
other end laborers initiated work on the west heading on 
March 14, 1900, after using a clam-shell dredge to 
scoop out a fifty-foot deep pit. This pit allowed them to 
begin digging the heading in advance of separate crews 
who were carving out a 2,600-foot-long approach which 
required the removal of 177,000 cubic yards of mate- 
rial, 58,000 cubic yards being solid rock."' 

Construction plans called for completing the tunnel 
in three sections, the first being the headings which 
would be followed by two sections of bench work (the 
bench being the main portion of the tunnel leading from 
the tloor to the beginning of the arched ceiling or 
heading). Laborers digging the east and west headings 
started several months ahead of the bench crews and 
excavated approximately fifteen to eighteen feet of 
tunnel a day. Using four-by-twelve-inch timbers, they 
fashioned a ribbed archway that lined the headings to 
prevent cave-ins as they worked. These crews finished 
the ceiling work on September 8, 1901, a little over 
eighteen months after they began the west heading."' 

Workers began to dig out the tunnel's bench during 
the summer of 1 900. Engineers divided this bench into 
two "lifts" or levels: an upper bench that was six feet 
deep; and a lower bench totalling eleven feet in depth. 
Excavation crews started removing the west end's 
upper bench on July 13, 1900, by first blasting the 
bench's rock loose, then by shovelling the rubble or 
"muck" into wheelbarrows. They transported their wheel 
barrow loads down a gangplank to a spot where a 
compressed-air shovel scooped the muck into waiting 
tram cars. Horses pulled the.se cars along a two-foot- 
gauge track that led out of the tunnel to a large dugway 
pit where workmen dumped the rubble. At the ea.st 
entrance laborers began blasting out the upper bench on 
September 17, 1900. Here the digging was much easier 
than at the west end so Kilpatrick's crews simply 
shovelled the muck down from the upper shelf to the 

"^ Hardesty. "The Construction of the Aspen. Wyoming. Tunnel," 

185. 

"' Ibid.. 18.5; "Revision of Grades and Alignment. Union Pacific 

R.R.-The Aspen Tunnel." Railway and Engineering Review 41 

(August 17, 1901). 546. 

"' Hardesty, "Construction of the Aspen. Wyoming. Tunnel." 186. 

188; Wxoming Press. May .^. 1902; Department of the Interior, 

Western United States, 78. 

"' Hardesty, "Construction of the Aspen, Wyoming, Tunnel. ' 187; 

Wyoming Press. January 20, 1900, March 3, 1900. 

"" Hardesty, "Construction of the Aspen, Wyoming. Tunnel." 185. 

186; "Revision of Grades and Alignment." 547. 548 

"'' Hardesty. "Construction of the Aspen, Wyoming, Tunnel," 185, 

186; "Revision of Grades and Alignment," 548. 



31 



Wyoming Histon' Journal 



tram cars and a crane operator. A small locomotive 
called a "dinkey" engine pulled the full trams out of the 
tunnel and to groups of workers who used the material 
for embankment projects. Teams from the two tunnel 
ends completed the bench work in early October 1 90 1 . " 
Despite the Union Pacific's elaborate engineering 
plans and Kilpatrick Bros & Collins' legions of workers 
and tons of supplies. Aspen Ridge proved to be a very 
difficult mountain to tunnel. Within weeks of initiating 
their work, serious problems began to plague Daniel 
Lyon" s men who had started the shaft over the center of 
the tunnel. At first they proceeded without mishap as 
they dug through yellow, blue and red clays, soft and 
hard sandstones, and black shale, but on February 3, 
1900, while digging into a "very hard bluish-grey 
shale," they encountered a strong flow of water.'' Resi- 
dent engineer K.C. Weedin explained the incident to 
geologist A.C. Veatch in 1905: 

Water was struck at a depth of 257 feet, driving out men 
and causing suspension of work. February 16, at 5 p.m., 
a Cameron double-plunger vertical mining pump No. 5 was 
set to work, water being then 126.6 feet deep in shaft. 
With this the shaft was puinped clear at 7 a.m. February- 
26. pump having run night and day without interruption. 
The work of excavation was then resumed. '- 

Water continued to enter the shaft until by March 1 0, 
1900, it reached a volume of 48,000 gallons a day. 
causing workers to replace the Cameron No. 5 with a 
larger pump. This soon proved insufficient because the 
flow of water again increased to nearly 75,000 gallons 
per day. On April 1, 1900, crews began using both 
Cameron pumps in the shaft, ultimately taking out 



100,000 gallons of water a day." 

On April 20. 1 900, shaft workers reached the roof 
level of Aspen Tunnel. From here they started digging 
out headings toward both the east and west portals. 
Two-hundred and fifty feet into the heading work they 
hit yet another "large stream of water," this time, the 
flow estimated at 300,000 gallons a day. These workers 
"barely escaped with their lives." At this point Lyon 
abandoned the shaft project and put the two large 
Cameron pumps with three smaller units to work pump- 
ing out the main portions of the tunnel." 

Outside the tunnel, surface water became a problem. 
At the east end, mud slides kept occurring along the 
approach's embankment, so crews ran deep ditches 
along the top of the north and south sides of the 
embankment to drain the water that flowed down Aspen 
Ridge. Then, along the north side of the approach's 
floor, laborers dug a drainage trench and connected this 
to the south side of the floor using a series of ten-inch 
pipes. Workers also put in "heavy ditching" along the 

™ Hardesty, "Construction of the Aspen, Wyoming, Tunnel," 186, 
187; "Revision of Grades and Alignment." 547. 
" Hardesty, "Construction of the Aspen. Wyoming. Tunnel." 186; 
Department of the Interior. Geography and Geology. 148-149. 
Ironically, in 1900. the Union Pacific Coal Company hired L.E. 
Nebergall to drill for water at Spring Valley, just a few miles 
northeast of Aspen Tunnel. Nebergall found oil instead of water as 
he drilled, and this discovery stimulated a minor oil boom in the 
LeRoy-Bear River Cutoff region. Ibid.. 14.^ 147. 
-Ibid., 149. 

'" Hardesty. "Construction of the Aspen. Wyoming, Tunnel." 186; 
Department of the Interior. Geography and Geology. 148. 149. 
"* Hardesty, "Construction of the Aspen. Wyoming. Tunnel." 185- 
187; "Roadbed Improvements." 143. 




Power House, 
east end of Aspen 
Tunnel, Pioneer 
Hollow 



J. E. Stimson 
photograph, 
Wyoming State 
Archives 



western approach and built a dam above the portal "to 
intercept and hold" water streaming down from above." 
Rock pressure became Aspen Tunnel's second ma- 
jor problem. At tlrst engineers estimated that the project's 
contractors needed only to line the tunnel with 12x12 
inch timbers at a space of five for every sixteen feet of 
wall. Workers quickly learned that this plan was inad- 
equate because of tremendous rock pressure from all 
directions within the bore which crushed timbers as if 
they were "pipe stems" and left suppt)rting wall plates 
"not much more than one half their former thickness." 
Nearly six hundred feet inside the west entrance the 
pressure was so great that not even a "solid wall of 
timbers" could stop the bulkhead from pushing inward 
at a velocity of almost one inch per day. While some 
officials attributed this pressure simply to the weight of 
"overlaying strata." University of Wyoming geology 
professor W.C. Knight suggested that a "swelling of the 
shale due to oxidation by contact with the air" caused 
the difficulty."" Whatever its cause this problem greatly 
alarmed those who had to work within the tunnel, as 
reflected in an Evanston newspaper report in early 
1901: 

Men coming trom the Aspen tunnel slate that the west 
portal of the tunnel is in a very dangerous condition, 
and It IS almost impossible to get men to work on that 
end. Although the tunnel is well timbered, the strong 
pres.sure from the mountain above causes numerous 
cave-ins. ^^ 

Engineers ultimately solved this dilemma by having 
the tunnel workers replace the demolished timbers 
section by section, and by having these men replace the 
timbers with a thick wall of I-beam ribs and concrete. 
Calculating that the pressure was slow enough to allow 
concrete to harden sufficiently to resist the swelling 
rock, railroad officials imported concrete expert J.L. 
Neff from Cheyenne to Aspen Ridge to oversee the 
lining project. Neff supervised the crews that put the I- 
beam ribs in place and encased these beams in a three- 
foot-thick layer of concrete. To keep the tloor from 
heaving. Neff had his workers pour a five and one-half 
foot deep floor of concrete over a bed of old rails that 
formed a criss-cross pattern. By the tiine the men had 
finished their lining and flooring work, they had re- 
moved 200.000 feet of broken timbers and had created 
a solid wall of concrete and iron that extended 1 ,700 feet 
along the western portion of the tunnel.™ 

The floor that Neff laid was so strong and effective 
that when the Union Pacific enlarged the tunnel in 1 975, 
its contractor, Morrison-Knudson. discovered that its 
workers had to "blast" out the old concrete section by 
section to lower the floor five feet. Speaking of the 



Autumn 19'-)5 
effort his crews exerted to loosen the flooring material, 
supervisor David Monson exclaimed, "This is probably 
the toughest assignment I've ever had.""' 

The presence of natural gas inside Aspen Tunnel 
proved to be the project's most deadly problem. When- 
ever the Union Pacific engaged in underground work in 
the region, it met with disaster born of the existence of 
explosive gases. In the Almy coal mines north of 
Evanston. the combination of methane gas and coal dust 
caused numerous explosions and resulted in the death 
of 1 12 Union Pacific and Central Pacific miners from 
1881 to 1895. Once the Union Pacific abandoned its 
Almy operations in 1899. it opened a coal mine at 
Spring Valley only to shut it down in 1905 after gas 
began pouring into the mine's lower workings."' 

Gas became a .serious problem in Aspen Tunnel in 
late 1900 as workers carved out the west end's bench. 
When excavation crews first discovered gas inside the 
tunnel, they playfully ignited it with their pipes "just to 
see it Hare up and burn." On December 10, 1900. 
however, they flared a pocket of gas that began to fill the 
tunnel with flames. Very quickly this fire started burn- 
ing the bore's timber lining so laborers hastily built a 
wall at the west entrance to seal off and smother the 
now-raging fire. While several men were plastering this 
wall with mud to make it air tight, a "terrific explosion" 
blew out the wall and buried the workers "beneath 
timbers, earth, and rock." Four men died at the scene 
while three others died within the next two weeks." Of 
the four men who died immediately, James Shoemaker 
of California was interred at a small cemetery "behind 
old Aspen Station." His grave, being on Aspen Ridge, 
joined that of the "poor fellow" whose fresh burial site 
Captain Howard Stansbury discovered as he passed 
over the ridge in 1850."' 

"' Hardestv. "Construction of the Aspen, Wyoming. Tunnel." IX.^, 
186; "Revision of Grades and Alignment," 547. 
'" Hardesty, "Construction of the Aspen. Wyoming, Tunnel," I S6; 
Wyoming Preis. August 10, 1901 ; "Revision of Grades and Align- 
ment." -548-549. 

'" Wuiming Press. March 2. 1901. 

''* Hardesty. "Construction of the Aspen. Wyoming, Tunnel," 187; 
"Revision of Grades and Alignment," 549. 
™ Casper Slar-Tnhune. January I I, 1976. 

■*" Salt Lake Herald. March 5,1881, January 1 5. 1 886; Clifford C. 
Stuart, Jr., "Killer Mine," Fnmtier Times .^9 (Feb-Mar. 1966), 12; 
Philip A. Kalisch, "The Woebegone Miners of Wyoming," Annals 
()/Wv(m;/»,i; 42 (October 1970), 2.^8-239; Wyoming Slate Inspector 
of Coal Mines, Annual Report: Inspector of Coal Mines. IW5. 
prepared by David G. Thomas (year ending .30 September 1895). 
"' Wwmini; Press. December 15, 29, 1900; Hardesty. "Construction 
of the Aspen, Wyoming, Tunnel." 187; "Revision of Grades and 
Alignment," 548. 

'*- Martin, Cemetery Records. 286; Madsen, Exploring the Great 
Salt Lake. b\ 5. 

33 



Wyoming History Journal 

The tunnel's contractors took several precautions to 
prevent explosions within the working areas. From the 
very beginning of the project large exhaust fans, one 
located above each portal, powered by three "Ingersoll- 
Sergant piston inlet air compressors" at the Pioneer 
Hollow power plant drew out smoke and gas through 
ventilation pipes which extended to the terminus of the 
chamber at each end of the tunnel. As the contaminated 
air withdrew from the tunnel, pure air came in through 
the entrances to replace it, thus filling the entire cham- 
ber with fresh air. After the December 10 explosion, 
Kilpatrick Brothers & Collins added several other safety 
measures including a ban on smoking within the tunnel, 
daily safety inspections, and a requirement to use only 
safety lamps and electric lights throughout the work- 
ings. Despite these steps a second explosion occurred, 
this time in July 1901 . Five workers received "more or 
less serious injury," but no one died from this accident."' 

In addition to finding gas in the Spring Valley coal 
mine and Aspen Tunnel, workers struck significant 
amounts of oil in these projects. While the presence of 
oil at Spring Valley caused the mine' s "haulage ways to 
heave," it created little more than a nuisance for the men 
working within Aspen Tunnel. When Kilpatrick' s crews 
first found oil in July 1901, Evanston's Wyoming Press 
rejoiced that the discovery proved that the region was 
"thoroughly saturated with oil." Col. M.M. Ketchum, 
a petroleum explorer, claimed that the tunnel's oil 
dripped at a rate of 200 to 300 gallons a day until the 
construction workers sealed off the flow with and 
"elaborate concrete and timber dam."" 

Besides the presence of explosive gas, the problem 
of rock pressure, and the difficulty of dealing with water 
in and around the tunnel, workers suffered injury and 
occasionally death from a variety of isolated construc- 
tion accidents. In August 1900, a "caving in of ground" 
at the tunnel killed one man and seriously injured a 
second, while in April 1901, a "body of falling earth" 
injured two other workers. In September 1900, two 
drillers died and two helpers were hurt after their drill 
accidentally set off an unexploded charge of dynamite 
that another crew had failed to fire in a hole they had 
drilled earlier that day. On December 16, 1900, a 
"peculiar accident" took the life of a worker who was 
standing in an excavation pit when a dinkey engine 
overhead broke through a narrow gauge trestle and 
crushed the man "in a terrible manner.""' 

Records exist to document the additional death at 
Aspen Tunnel of an employee who died of a heart attack 
on his first day of work at the tunnel. A Work Progress 
Administration paper estimated that the total number of 
deaths during construction was actually higher than 

34 



eleven men and claimed, "There were fifteen or twenty 
men killed during construction and some of their graves 
are still to be found at old Aspen."*'" 

Surprisingly the one element that did not hinder 
Kilpatrick Brothers and Collins' work on the tunnel was 
the district's normally severe winter weather. Frank 
Leslie exclaimed in 1 877 that Aspen Ridge was a "wild, 
windy region where winter storms rage," yet in late 
January 1900 an Evanston, Wyoming, newspaper re- 
ported that the project's contractors were "jubilant over 
the lovely weather" they were experiencing that first 
winter of construction. To guard against the possibility 
of harsh snow storms, the company had its crews line 
the hills surrounding the tunnel's approaches with row 
upon row of drift fences." 

Tunnel crews connected the east and west headings 
on September 8, 1 90 1 , nearly one year beyond the date 
that Union Pacific planners estimated the entire LeRoy- 
Bear River Cutoff project would be done. The large 
volume of water within the tunnel and shaft and the 
tremendous rock pressure were the main reasons for the 
excessive amount of time necessary to complete the 
program. By October 8, 1901 , bench workers and track 
layers brought their work to an end, and the next day 
Horace G. Burt announced in Salt Lake City that the 
"last of the mammoth contract" was done. The Salt 
Lake Daily Tribune observed that "the steep grades and 
crooked line around by Billiard, including the long 
snowsheds, are entirely done away with." Shortly be- 
fore midnight, on October 15, 1901, "regular trains" 
began traveling through the tunnel, and on October 19, 
1901, the Wyoming Press reported, "All passenger 
trains passed through the new Aspen Tunnel Tuesday 
night, requiring eleven minutes from portal to portal."** 



"'"Revision of Grades and Alignment," 548; Hardesty, "Con- 
struction of the Aspen. Wyoming. Tunnel," 187; Wyoming Press, 
July 20. 1901, August 10. 1901. 

*■* History of the Union Pacific Coal Mines. 128; Wyoming Press. 
July 20, 1901 ; Department of the Interior, Geography and 
Geology. 148. K.C. Weedin, resident engineer for the Aspen 
Tunnel project, disputed Ketchum's claim in an interview with 
geologist, A.C. Veatch. in 1905. Ibid., 148. 
"'' Wyoming Press, August 25, September 22, December 22, 
1900; April 6, 1901. 

*'' "The Aspen Tunnel," WPA #6 [Work Progress Administration 
collection, Wyoming State Archives, Museums and Historical 
Department; typewritten copy in files at Uinta County Library, 
Evanston, Wyoming], 2. 

"Reinhardt, Out West. 83; Wyoming Press. January 20, 1900; 
"Revision of Grades and Alignment," 547. 
"* Hardesty, "Construction of the Aspen, Wyoming, Tunnel," 
186, 188; "Roadbed Improvements," 143; Salt Lake Daily 
Tribune. October 9,1901; Wyoming Press. October 19, 1901. 



CoMplETiON ANcl ApTERIVlATh 

Completing Aspen Tunnel was a technological feat 
that took two years, resulted in the death of at least 
eleven workers from accidents directly related to the 
project's construction, and cost $ 1 2.000.000. Being the 
keystone to the entire LeRoy-Bear River Cutoff route. 
the tunnel eliminated 9.56 miles of track, shortening the 
line over Aspen Ridge from 31.17 miles to 2 1 .6 1 miles. 
It also allowed the railroad to reduce its maximum grade 
from 68.6 feet per mile to 43.3 feet, and to reduce its 
curves in the region from five degrees to three degrees 
and six minutes. The new route totally eliminated the 
sharp Horseshoe Bend nine miles west of Piedmont.™ 

Piedmont had become an important community on 
the Union Pacific's original route over Aspen Ridge 
during the last three decades of the 19th century. At the 
peak of its existence Piedmont boasted a "fme artesian 
well," a three-story hotel, a school house, a post office, 
several "well built" log homes, a general store, the 
Union Pacific depot, and a rectangular "round house" to 
store and maintain the railroad's helper engines. In 
addition to serving the Union Pacific. Piedmont thrived 
on providing charcoal for Utah smelters and operated 
four large kilns to manufacture this charcoal."" 

Rerouting the line from LeRoy to Bear River caused 
the railroad to bypass Piedmont and Milliard, resulting 
in the demise of both towns. Reminiscent of Frank 
Leslie's description of Aspen Ridge's "shrieking, sav- 
age wind," author Cliff Stuart commented that by the 
late 1960s. Piedmont's only resident was "the biting 
Wyoming wind.""' 

Hilliard. on the decline since experiencing a slump 
in its lumber trade in the 1880s. also went out of 
business when the Union Pacific bypassed it in 1901. 
Once the community had been the colorful home to a 
smelter, approximately thirty charcoal kilns, and a 
thirty-mile-long logging tlume out of the Uintas. In 
1900. however, the town lost its railroad-depot status 
and soon after the completion of Aspen Tunnel. Hilliard 
became as deserted as its neighbor, the once-notorious 
Bear River City, and ultimately turned into a prime 
"cattle and sheep raising area.""- 



Autumn 1QQ5 
Historically the significance of Aspen Tunnel goes 
beyond the completion of a physical link between two 
segments of the LeRoy-Bear River Cutoff. In a broad 
sense the tunnel represents a continuation of the process 
of developing a network of immigration trails through 
the Rocky Mountain West. In "West from Fort Bridger," 
J. Roderic Korns captures the essence of this historic 
process by observing: 

Those who travel the West sometimes find its vast 
expanse of plain and mountain monotonous and 
depressing, but not those who are famihar with its 
trails. Hardly a square mile lacks its personal eloquence, or 
ghosts of the past to take on flesh and hlood and w aik 
beside us."' 

The "eloquence" of Aspen Tunnel is that it magni- 
fied the efforts of sojourners such as Joseph Reddeford 
Walker who pioneered a path over Aspen Ridge in 1 843 
and the Mormon company which fashioned improve- 
ments to this path up Pioneer Hollow in 1 847. All who 
experienced the trail over Quaking Asp Mountain con- 
tributed to the mechanics of creating a transportation 
route through the "desolate heart of Wvoming." 



"" Hardesty, "Construction of the Aspen. Wyoming. Tunnel," 

187; Department of the Interior. CuiJehook. 78. 

"" Carter. Pioneer Heritage. 181. 

"' Reinhardt. Out West. 85; Stuart. .Ir., "Piedmont." 1 26. 

"- Hammond, Utah Expedition. .V?0; Lester, Ratis to Riches. 9. 

12, 22, 23. 

"' Korns. "West from Fort Brideer," 2. 



Walter R. Jones, a Casper native, graduated from 
the University of Wyoming in 1967. He holds the 
M.L.I.S. degree from Brigham Young University 
( 1973). and the M.A. in history from the Univer- 
sity of Utah ( 1988). His thesis was on the history of 
oil exploration in southwestern Wyoming. The 
author of two previous articles in Annals of 
Wyoming, his book. The History of the Sand Bar, 
1888-1977, was published in 1981. 



35 



Closing the 

Fort Washakie Hosi 




A Case Study in Federal Termination Policy 

By Mike Macicey 



Federal government intentions during the first two 
decades of tiiis century showed some genuine concern 
for Native Americans, even though the end results were 
often detrimental. By the late 1940s, the Hoover Task 
Force Commission, a Republican-controlled Congress 
and a group of assimilationists in the Bureau of Indian 
Affairs ( BI A ), felt that federal Indian policy should take 
another direction. In the so-called Zimmerman Plan, 
experts recommended a policy of termination. This 
plan made suggestions for the quick assimilation of 
Indians into the mainstream (white) society. 

On March 22, 1950, President Harry Truman ap- 
pointed Dillon S. Myer to head the BIA. Myer, who 
previously headed the War Relocation Authority which 
oversaw the removal and relocation of Japanese and 
Japanese-Americans during World War II, wholeheart- 
edly supported the new termination policy.' Myer 
stressed the need for Native Americans to "make funda- 
mental improvements in three essential areas: health, 
education and the economy. "- 

Myer believed that Indians were "museum pieces" 
and that there was no place for them in the atomic age. 
Government-sponsored programs administered by the 
BIA would not allow for the liberation of Native Ameri- 



cans to enjoy the freedoms guaranteed them under the 
Constitution, in Myer's view. He said, "Indian schools, 
clinics, and hospitals for Native Americans stifled their 
development toward independence."" 

Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Republican candidate 
for the presidency in 1 952, agreed with Myer's philoso- 
phy, even though he eventually replaced Myer as head 
of the BIA. Eisenhower said that Native Americans 
should have the same opportunities for education, health 
care and economic development as other Americans.-* 
Both men believed that closing federally funded schools 
and hospitals on reservations would enhance Indian 
"opportunities." 

As the Eighty-third Congress convened, Indian 
termination was one of the main topics of discussion. 
Wyoming Representative William Henry Harrison in- 
troduced House Concurrent Resolution 108. The reso- 
lution, sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Henry Jackson 

'Donald L. Fixico, Termination and Relocation: Federal Indian 
Policy /9'^5-/960(Albuquerque:University of New Mexico Press, 
1986), xiv, 62-63. 
-Ibid., 67. 
Mbid., 72. 
■•Ibid., 69-73. 



of Washington, called for congressional support for an 
Indian termination policy. While a small number of 
tribes were targeted for total termination (the elimina- 
tion of tribal status and relations with the federal gov- 
ernment), the BIA moved to close many schools and 
hospitals on reservations not targeted. 

W. Wendell Palmer, Superintendent of the Wind 
River Reservation, asked Fremont County officials in 
early June 1953, if they would be willing to provide 
health care for Indian patients. He told them the BIA 
planned to close the reservation hospital at Fort Wash- 
akie.' 

County authorities protested vigorously and in- 
formed Palmer that hospitals in Riverton and Lander 
were already "taxed to the limit." These officials also 
believed that the county's welfare roles were over- 
loaded and that they could not carry indigent Indians, 
too. County authorities were not reassured by claims 
from Palmer that the BIA would reimburse the hospitals 
for any Indian "charity cases." The reservation super- 
intendent said that the operating expenses of the hospi- 
tal at Fort Washakie were running between $80,000 and 
$100,000 a year and that the 40-bed unit (actually 38 
beds) was only treating an average of fourteen patients 
a day. (Official BIA reports later set the number at 10.3 
patients)." In light of Congress' push for termination, 
the superintendent said he did not believe Congress 
would approve funds needed to keep the hospital open. 

Even though Memorial Hospital in Riverton was 
just completing a renovation which expanded it from a 
fourteen to a twenty-five bed facility, county officials 
were not interested in having the hospital treat Indian 
patients." 

By July federal officials told Palmer that the hospi- 
tal closing was inevitable. On July 15, Indian Health 
officials told Dr. W. M. Keams, the physician at the Fort 
Washakie Hospital, he would be transferred to Phoenix, 
Arizona. In the view of the BIA, Indians able to pay for 
medical services should not have them provided at 
government expense. BIA officials believed that 
Shoshone and Arapahoe tribal members probably would 
receive better care at Bishop Randall Hospital in Lander 
and Memorial Hospital in Riverton, since it had been so 
difficult to maintain an adequate staff at Fort Washakie.' 

The Fremont County commissioners and the county 
welfare board rejected Palmer's proposal that they care 
for indigent Indians when the reservation hospital 
closed. Commissioner Henry Lockard said that since 
the county had no records of the Indians' past history 
they would be unable to determine which people were 
welfare cases and which were not. The Indians were 
wards of the federal government, Lockard pointed out. 



Autumn 1QQ5 
so it should be the government's responsibility to pro- 
vide them with medical care. The commissioners were 
not reassured by promises that the county welfare board 
would be reimbursed by the BIA for the cost of caring 
for those unable to pay their own way. 

Doctors and hospital officials in Lander and Riverton 
also expressed concern over Palmer's proposal. They 
feared that the addition of Indian patients would in- 
crease the workload to a point where it would become 
unmanageable. 

These people were not the only ones who objected 
to the closing ofthe reservation's medical facilities. At 
a gathering of representatives from twenty-one differ- 
ent tribes in Sheridan, Wyoming, Thomas Duran, a 
spokesman for the Shoshone and Arapahoe tribes, pro- 
tested that the closure was not justified.' 

ActingCommissionerof Indian Affairs W. Burton 
Greenwood told U.S. Senator Lester Hunt of Wyoming 
that the Fort Washakie Hospital" s closing was the result 
of a number of factors. He said that the average per 
capita family income of Indians on the reservation was 
$5,000 per year which enabled them to pay for their own 
health care. He also cited the better staffed and more 
adequate facilities in Lander and Riverton. During the 
transition period. Greenwood said, there would be a 
doctor, nurse, and clerk retained at Fort Washakie to 
work with patients.' 

While Greenwood was assuring Senator Hunt of 
the necessity of closing the reservation hospital. Area 
Director Fickinger of the Billings, Montana, office was 
working out a final agreement for the medical care of 
Shoshone and Arapahoe tribal members in Lander and 
Riverton. Under the agreement, the Lander Medical 
Clinic and the Riverton-based Wind River Medical 
Group would care for indigent Indians and be reim- 
bursed by the BIA. The transition team at Fort Washakie 
would screen indigent patients for referral to doctors in 
either Lander or Riverton. A committee was also estab- 
lished at the Wind River Agency to determine which 
Indians would be declared indigent and qualify for the 
BIA to pay their medical expenses. This predetermina- 
tion of financial status was supplied to the Riverton and 
Lander clinics. It was necessary for tribal members to 
work through the doctors in these two medical groups 



^Riverton Ranger. May 28. 1 9.S3; Fixico, Termination and Reloca- 
tion. 93; Riverton Ranger. June 2. 1953. 

"The BIA adjusted figures to indicate a need for carPi-ing out the 
policies of the administration. 
'Riverton Ranger. June 2. 4, 1953. 
"Ibid., July 7. 1953. 
"Ibid.. July 9, 1953, July 23, 1953. 
'"Ibid., July 21. 1953. 



37 



Wyoming History Journal 

because they would not be admitted to the Riverton or 

Lander hospitals without a doctor's referral." 

The end of July and early August 1953 was an 
important time for Shoshone and Arapahoe tribal mem- 
bers and for all Native Americans. In late July, the 
United States Senate confirmed the appointment of 
Glenn Emmons from New Mexico as the new Commis- 
sioner of Indian Affairs. Emmons would continue the 
termination policy. It would be his responsibility to 
close the Indian Day School at Fort Washakie. 

On August 1, 1953, the Fort Washakie Hospital was 
officially closed. Also on that day Congress adopted 
House Resolution 108. Although it was not a law to be 
enforced, it approved the changes in federal Indian 
policy and called for a continuation of termination. - 

In late November 1953, officials at Riverton" s 
Memorial Hospital reported that the closing of the Fort 
Washakie Hospital had contributed to the patient load, 
but not significantly." Despite the apparent success of 
the private sector in coping with the influx of Indians to 
their medical facilities, tribal members were not happy 
with the situation. In the spring of 1954, Shoshone and 
Arapahoe tribal councils sent petitions to Wyoming 
representatives in Washington, urging that the 
reservation's hopital be reopened. 

Robert Harris, Chairman of the Shoshone and Arapa- 
hoe Joint Business Council, forwarded the joint tribal 
resolution to Senator Hunt. In it, the council com- 
plained that the hospital's closing nine months earlier 
had caused great hardship, suffering, and possible deaths 
among the Shoshone and Arapahoe. The resolution 
expressed hope that the hospital might be reopened 
under the direction of the United States Public Health 
Service. ( House Resolution 303 was before Congress at 
that time, calling for transfer of Indian health services to 
Public Health). The tribal councils asked Hunt to inter- 
vene on their behalf as soon as possible because BIA 
officials at the agency were planning to transform the 
hospital building into their main administration office 
and sell off all of the medical equipment. Tribal leaders 
believed there had never been a fair evaluation of the 
need for a hospital on the reservation before it was 
closed. They felt they were fighting both Glenn Emmons, 
who wanted the hospital closed, and local BIA officials 
who were disposing of the medical facility as they saw 
fit.'-- 

Senator Hunt contacted Glenn Emmons on May 7 
on behalf of the Shoshone and Arapahoe tribes. Hunt 
told the commissioner that the reasons given for the 
closure were very misleading. The official citation of 
10.3 patients per day over the twelve-month period 
prior to closing did not reflect the Indian's reluctance to 

38 



use the facilities. Light use resulted from the unpopular- 
ity of the physician. Tribal members stayed away from 
the hospital except in emergencies. When the doctors 
were well-liked, the facility was used extensively. Hunt 
wrote. He urged Emmons to reconsider the closure." 

BIA chief Emmons told Hunt this was the first he 
had heard that the Indians did not like the physician at 
Fort Washakie. He told Hunt that he believed that by 
using the existing medical facilities in Lander and 
Riverton, the tribal members would be making a "direct 
step toward assimilation," and that it would help to 
make the Indians participate in the area's communities. 
Emmons told Hunt if H.R. 303 were passed, any deci- 
sion to reopen the hospital would be made by the Public 
Health Service and not the BIA.'^ 

Senator Hunt wrote Robert Harris and the Joint 
Tribal Council saying that Emmons was not going to 
reconsider the hospital closure. It might be in the tribes' 
best interest to wait on the outcome of H.R. 303, Hunt 
noted. If it passed, the BIA would turn control of Indian 
health over to the Public Health Service and, perhaps, 
that agency would reopen the hospital." 

On June 22,1 954, Secretary of the Interior Douglas 
McKay announced that the BIA would study the health 
care situation on the Wind River Reservation within a 
few months. He added that this would be the case only 
if Indian health care was still a responsibility of the BIA 
at that time.'" 

The suicide of Senator Hunt on June 19, 1954, left 
a void in Wyoming politics. In the mad scramble for 
votes, candidates who sought to fill the Hunt vacancy 
used the Fort Washakie Hospital closure as a major 
campaign issue. 

On June 2 1 , Representative William Henry Harrison 
(a Republican candidate for the Senate nomination) 
informed the Riverton Ranger that the reconsideration 
of the Fort Washakie Hospital closure was due to his 



"Ibid., July 23, 1953. 

'-Ibid., July 28. August 8, 1953; Fixico, Termination and Reloca- 
tion, 97. 

"Riverton Ranger. November 26, 1953. 

'^Robert Harris to Lester Hunt, April 22, 1954, Hunt papers, 
American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming. 
'^Lester Hunt to Glenn Emmons, May 7, 1954, Hunt papers. Fiscal 
Report ending June 30, 1954, Wind River Indian Reservation, 
Joseph C. O'Mahoney papers, American Heritage Center, Univer- 
sity of Wyoming. 

""Glenn Emmons to Hunt, June 1. 1954, Hunt papers. 
"Hunt to Shoshone-Arapaho Joint Business Council, June 3, 1954, 
June 14, 1954, Hunt papers. 

'"Department of the Interior news release, June 22, 1 954, 0" Mahoney 
papers; Riverton Ranger, June 29, 1954. 



efforts and those of Republican Senator Frank Barrett. 
According to Harrison, little was known about his 
efforts on behalf of the Wind River tribes because he 
liked to keep a low profile. Harrison said he concerned 
himself with serving all of the people of Wyoming and 
was not out to seek personal publicity. After Harrison 
won the Republican nomination, he attacked the Demo- 
cratic nominee, former Senator Joseph C. O'Mahoney, 
holding him personally responsible for the closure of 
the hospital. Harrison accused O'Mahoney and the 
Democrats of pushing for these measures in 1949 and 
the 1953 hospital closure was a direct result of those 
efforts. Harrison omitted mentioning that he had 
authored House Concurrent Resolution 1 08 which called 
for the termination of a list of specific tribes and 
reduction of services provided by the BIA to all other 
tribes.'" Harrison lost his bid for the Senate seat to 
O'Mahoney by a close margin 

On August 5, 1954, President Eisenhower signed 
H.R. 303. This became Public Law 568 and set up the 
transfer of responsibility for Indian health care from the 
BIA to the Public Health Service. The official transfer 
was set to take place on July 1, 1955. When contacted 
for comments on the transfer, BIA chief Emmons said 
that the Indians would benefit greatly from the change. 
He seemed oblivious to the fact that his statements 
concerning high infant mortality in many tribes, the 
short life span on reservations, and that medicine on 
reservations was generally fifty to seventy-five years 
behind that in the rest of the country, reflected directly 
on him and the BIA. It should be pointed out that three 
weeks earlier Emmons called for the improvement of 
sanitary conditions on all reservations.-" 

Sections one and two of Public Law 568 would play 
very important roles in attempts by the Shoshone- 
Arapahoe Joint Business Council to reopen the Fort 
Washakie Hospital. These sections stated that the sec- 
retary of Health, Education and Welfare presided over 
all Indian health care facilities and that he could decide 
which would remain open and which would close. 
More important, a provision stipulated that no Indian 
hospital could be closed prior to July 1, 1956, without 
approval of the governing body of the tribe. For this 
provision to be of assistance to the tribes of the Wind 
River Reservation, the hospital had to be open when the 
Public Health Service assumed responsibility for In- 
dian health care.-' This meant that efforts to reopen the 
Fort Washakie Hospital had to reach fruition before 
July 1, 1955, or the hospital would most likely be lost 
forever. 

BIA Commissioner Emmons sent Dr. Frank French 
of the BIA's health services branch to the Wind River 



Autumn 1QQ5 
Reservation in mid-October to survey the situation. A 
determination on whether or not the hospital would be 
reopened could not be reached until the French report 
had been completed and the bureau had it analyzed. -- 

Senator-elect O'Mahoney was not satisfied with 
the snail's pace at which the BIA was moving. He 
believed that there was no reason it should have taken 
four months from the time Emmons was contacted by 
the Wyoming Congressional Delegation in June to send 
someone to Wind River to review the health care 
situation. To O'Mahoney, it was important to complete 
the survey and reopen the hospital before July 1 . 1955. 
the Public Health Service take-over date. O'Mahoney 
placed some of the blame on Representative Harrison 
who knew the effects of H.R. 303 and as a member of 
the House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs 
allowed the bill to pass that committee without objec- 
tion.-' 

One month later a Fort Washakie man died of 
pneumonia. Officials at Bishop Randall Hospital in 
Lander said that the young man did not seek medical 
care until it was too late. By the time the illness was 
discovered, treatment was ineffective.-^ Critics of the 
BIA plan asked if the individual would have sought out 
medical care sooner had the Fort Washakie Hospital 
remained open. 

Another issue concerning Indian health care arose 
in January 1955. Dorothy Rahn of the Fremont County 
Public Health Nursing Service had conducted tubercu- 
lin tests on all children living on the Wind River 
Reservation. Of the 637 school-aged children, thirty- 
seven percent of the Indian children tested positive as 
did fourteen percent of the Caucasian children. The 
result was that 2 1 6 of those tested had to be given further 
tests. Twenty-four percent of all active tuberculosis 
cases in Wyoming were in Fremont County.-' As of this 
date there was not much to indicate that Emmons' 
sanitary improvement project or the closure of the Fort 
Washakie Hospital was benefiting the reservation's 
residents. 



'"Ibid., June 24, Oclober 12. October 26, 1954; Fixico, Termination 

and Relocation, 97. 

-"Confidential memorandum. .-August 19.1 954, 0' Mahoney papers; 

Riverton Ranger, July 8, July 22, 1954; Fixico, Termination and 

Relocation, 107-109. 

-'Public Law 568, 83rd Congress, O'Mahoney papers. 

"Emmons to O'Mahoney. October 22, 1954, O'Mahoney papers. 

-'O'Mahoney to Emmons, October 25, 1954, Indian Affairs news 

release, October 25, 1954, O'Mahoney papers. 

■''Riverton Ranger, November 25, 1954. 

-■^Ibid., January 27, 1955. 



39 



Wyoming Historv' Journal 

Following liis election victory in 1954, Senator 
O " Mahoney set out to reopen the Fort Washakie Hospi- 
tal. The senator contacted several Riverton and Lander 
people. He asked for their assessment of the reservation 
hospital issue. O" Mahoney found it hard to understand 
why the BIA. which was supposed to give Indians a say 
in any decisions affecting them, closed the Fort Washakie 
Hospital without consulting the tribal councils. Even 
H.R. 303 gave tribes the right to veto a hospital closure. 
The senator opposed the arrangement by which doctors' 
services for the Shoshones and Arapahoes with the 
Lander Medical Clinic and the Wind River Medical 
Group were contracted separately from services pro- 
vided by Memorial Hospital in Riverton and Bishop 
Randall Hospital in Lander. In his view, the arrange- 
ment was more for the benefit of the doctors and 
hospitals than the welfare of tribal members seeking 
medical assistance. In addition, the senator questioned 
the BIA estimate that the average income of Indian 
families on the reservation was $5,000 a year. 

O'Mahoney depended on individuals in the Riverton 
and Lander area to find out what they could concerning 
average annual income and the patterns of hospital 
usage among the Wind River Indians.-" In March, Ursel 
Wombolt, a business owner in Lander, wrote him that 
since the Arapahoes and Shoshones received their per 
capita payments at the beginning of the month and a 
great number had been in her store, she was able to ask 
them a number of questions. When asked if they were 
consulted by the BIA or anyone else prior to the closing 
of the hospital, all replied, "No." The tribal members 
felt they were not welcome at the local hospitals in 
Lander and Riverton and told Wombolt that the old 
people refused to go to them. Of all the families who 
spoke with Wombolt, only about ten said they had an 
annual income that came anywhere close to $5,000. She 
added that while the hospitals appeared satisfied with 
their contracts, it was her belief that neither Caucasians 
or Indians liked the existing set-up.-^ 

Donald Spiker, a Riverton attorney, also spoke with 
a number of tribal members. These Indians stated unani- 
mously that they wanted the reservation hospital re- 
opened. Spiker, too, found it "hard to believe the in- 
come figure of $5,000." With the limited hospital facili- 
ties in Riverton and Lander, Spiker said, the residents of 
these communities believed it would be in everyone's 
best interest if the Fort Washakie Hospital were re- 
opened. Mayor E. H. Steffy of Riverton said Memorial 
Hospital was often full even without taking the Wind 
River residents who would rather have their own hospi- 
tal. He asked the senator to do everything in his power 
to get the reservation hospital reopened.-* 

40 



After completing his survey, L. A. Millard of 
Riverton concluded that the Indians had been "taken for 
a ride." If the BIA believed it could assimilate Indians 
by denying them medical services, it was mistaken, 
Millard said. The Fort Washakie Hospital had been left 
vacant and unattended for more than a year and a half 
Millard pointed out that even if the existing hospital 
facilities in Riverton and Lander were adequate at the 
time, they would not be for long. The influx of oil field 
workers and uranium prospectors was adding to the 
problem of adequate health care for everyone in Fre- 
mont County.-" The population would not peak for 
another three years and then the Indians, not the oil field 
and uranium workers, would be blamed for the inad- 
equate facilities. 

The Riverton Chamber of Commerce, Dr. J. F. 
Replogle and Robert Harris of the Shoshone- Arapahoe 
Joint Business Council, all wrote to O'Mahoney. The 
chamber sent a resolution calling for the reopening of 
the hospital."' Replogle claimed the BIA was wrong to 
assume it could not maintain a minimal medical staff at 
Fort Washakie." Tribal leader Harris wrote O'Mahoney 
that the BIA had surveyed twenty-seven families, all of 
whom received more than fifty-one percent of their 
income from sources other than per capita payments. 
The result was the deceptively high $5,000 figure for 
family incomes. The vast majority, according to Harris, 
earned nowhere near this figure. When Harris had asked 
to see hospital records in order to confirm the admission 
statistics, BIA officials turned down the request. Harris 
dismissed the BIA's claim that tribal officials had been 
"consulted." Area Director Fickinger attended a tribal 
council meeting and told the council that changes 
would be made in the health care system and only three 
options were possible: contracting for services through 
the county commission, direct contract with a local 
medical group, or tribal maintenance and operation of 
the facility. Keeping the facility open was not one of 
Fickinger's options, Harris reported. The decisions were 
made strictly by the BIA. Tribal leaders did not believe 
the BIA had the welfare of the Shoshone and Arapahoe 
people at heart when they compiled the figures used as 
evidence and closed the hospital without consultation. '- 

-"O'Mahoney to Ursel Wombolt. February 25, 1955, O'Mahoney 

papers. 

-'Wombolt to O'Mahoney, March 1955, O'Mahoney papers. 

-"Donald Spiker to O'Mahoney, March 3, 1955; E. H. Stuffy to 

O'Mahoney, March 7, 1955, O'Mahoney papers. 

■''L. A. Millard to O'Mahoney, March?, 1955, O'Mahoney papers. 

"'Riverton Chamber of Commerce to O'Mahoney. March 9, 1955, 

O'Mahoney papers. 

"J. F. Replogle to O'Mahoney, March 8, 1955, O'Mahoney papers. 

'-R. Harris to O'Mahoney, March 18, 1955, O'Mahoney papers. 



Inearly April, SenatorO'Mahoney met with Assis- 
tant BIA Commissioner Lee, Dr. James Shaw of the 
Public Health Service, and Dr. Frank French the Area 
Health Officer from the Billings BIA office. The sena- 
tor showed them a memorandum detailing the informa- 
tion he had received from area residents and tribal 
officials. The two men agreed to look into the situation 
immediately." 

By the end of April, John Cooper, Director of the 
BIA office in Billings, met with Wind River Reserva- 
tion Superintendent Arthur Amtson and the Shoshone- 
Arapaho Joint Business Council. Cooper told those in 
attendance that the BIA, working in cooperation with 
the Public Health Service, had decided not to reopen the 
Fort Washakie Hospital with a resident physician. How- 
ever, BIA chief Emmons had developed a four-point 
program which he believed would improve the health 
care situation on the reservation. First, there was to be 
an increase in clinical services. Second, the bureau 
would be more liberal in the standards of eligibility that 
determined which Indians could receive care at BIA 
expense. Third, one public health nurse would be added 
to the staff at the reservation to help with preventive 
medicine. Last, as of July 1 , 1 955, a dentist and dental 
assistant were to be stationed on the reservation."' 

Commissioner Emmons" four-point program re- 
sulted in pressure being applied to the BIA by area 
residents, the Wyoming congressional delegation, and 
Shoshone and Arapahoe tribal members. In spite of this 
pressure, however, the director said, "After full consid- 
eration the Indian Bureau has determined that reopen- 
ingofthe hospital isnot advisable. ""Emmonsbelieved 
that hospitals in Riverton and Lander had a far wider 
range of medical specialties. These would be more 
beneficial to the Indians than the services of one doctor 
at the Fort Washakie Hospital. Following the meeting 
at which these positions were presented, the Shoshone- 
Arapahoe Joint Business Council went on record saying 
that the reopening of the hospital was preferable to 
Emmons" four-point plan.'" 

On July 1, 1955, the Public Health Service took 
over responsibility for Indian health care. This agency's 
assumption of health care responsibilities was to aid in 
carrying out the termination policy. The Public Health 
Service was already in the health care business, and the 
administration's goal to dissolve the BIA could be 
accomplished more rapidly with a redistribution of its 
responsibilities. The reservation hospital had not been 
reopened after a two-year battle with the BIA. It ap- 
peared that the Public Health Service had no intention 
of reopening the facility. By the end of July, the Public 



Autumn 1QQ5 
Health Service had initiated programs in an effort to 
improve health care on the Wind River Reservation. 

The service would open a clinic at Fort Washakie 
for three hours a day, four or five days a week. Also, a 
Riverton medical group would open a clinic at Arapa- 
hoe. Further, the Riverton and Lander medical groups 
agreed to accept "emergency cases"" without the prior 
certification that had been required in the past. (Previ- 
ously, indigent Indians had to present a certificate 
which stated that the BIA would pay for their medical 
treatment before they received any attention). Under a 
new contract, the hospitals in Riverton and Lander were 
to be reimbursed directly for any Indians they treated. 
Under the previous contract, Indians were admitted to 
the hospital only after a referral from the Lander Medi- 
cal Clinic or the Wind River Medical Group in Riverton. 
In an effort to address the problem of future overcrowd- 
ing, the directors of the Lander hospital explored ways 
that they could reopen the Fort Washakie Hospital as a 
private concern. Such a move was an alternative to 
adding a new addition to Bishop Randall Hospital in 
Lander.' 

In spite of the program proposed by the Public 
Health Service, tribal members and non-Indian resi- 
dents in Lander and Riverton continued to press for the 
reopening of the Fort Washakie Hospital. Senator 
O'Mahoney continued to work on behalf of both his 
non-Indian and Indian constituents. When it became 
clear that the Public Health Service had no intention of 
reopening the hospital, 0"Mahoney suggested to Paul 
Hines, Robert Harris, Nellie Scott, and other tribal 
leaders that the Shoshone-Arapahoe Joint Business 
Council approach the directors of Bishop Randall Hos- 
pital about working out a contract through which the 
Fort Washakie Hospital could be leased to Bishop 
Randall and operated by them."' 

The senator's suggestions were well received and 
attempts were made to follow through on them, but the 
efforts never bore fruit. By November the Shoshone and 
Arapahoe councils had approached the Public Health 
Service and the BIA in an effort to get them to address 
the problem of hospital overcrowding in Riverton and 
Lander which was adversely affecting tribal members 

"Memorandum from Committee on Interior and Insular .iXtTairs. 

April 1 1. 19.S5, O'Mahoney to Wombolt. Apnl 13, 1955. O'Mahoney 

papers. 

^'Riverton Ranger. May .''. 1955. 

"Ihid. 

'"Ibid. 

" Memorandum: Committee on Interior and Insular .-XtTairs. July 

29. 1955. O'Mahoney papers. 

'•''J. A. Morrow to O'Mahoney. August 16. 1955, James H. Gamble 

to 0"Mahoney. October 6, 1955, O'Mahoney papers. 



41 



Wyoming History Journal 

(the influx of oil workers and uranium prospectors was 
beginning to present problems). The Public Health 
Service refused to reopen the Fort Washakie Hospital. 
Instead they approached hospital officials in 
Thermopolis, Wyoming, to see if they might be inter- 
ested in working out a contract at their Memorial 
Hospital similar to those with the hospitals in Riverton 
and Lander. Public Health and BIA officials believed 
that by making available the additional bed space in the 
Thermopolis hospital to Wind River Indians, their 
problems would be solved.-^'' 

Hospital overcrowding was a problem that contin- 
ued to grow. To help address this situation the 85th 
Congress, in 1957, passed Public Law 151. This law, 
signed by President Eisenhower, authorized the F*ublic 
Health Service to help fund hospital projects in areas 
where some of the patient load at a hospital was made 
up of Native Americans. While the law had been passed, 
no funds would be available until the following year. At 
that time both Riverton Memorial Hospital and Bishop 
Randall in Lander were contemplating additions to their 
existing facilities.™ 

Senator Frank Barrett began working on the 
appropriation of funds for the two hospitals. Since the 
closing of the Fort Washakie Hospital, Bishop Randall 
in Lander had absorbed the largest share of Indian 
patients. As of January, 1958, occupancy at that hospi- 
tal was thirty-eight percent Indian. A bill before Con- 
gress, H.R. 1 1645, was passed and signed into law in 
1958. This piece of legislation allocated funds to the 
Department of Public Health for a number of hospital 



projects where Indians were among the patients being 
treated. Riverton's share of the funds was $17,276.81 
while the share for Lander, where most of the Shoshones 
and Arapahoes sought treatment, was $221,943. These 
funds and the new additions to hospitals in Riverton and 
Lander were a great help to the problem of Indian health 
care in the Wind River area but tribal members still 
wanted their own hospital to be reopened.-" 

The issue of the Fort Washakie Hospital was only 
one problem which the Shoshone and Arapahoe tribal 
members faced under the Indian termination policy. 
The BIA attempted to close a school on the Wind River 
Reservation and it developed into a long and fierce 
battle between the tribes and the agency. The Shoshones 
and Arapahoes were not directed targeted for termina- 
tion as were tribes like the Klamaths and Menominees, 
but termination policy adversely affected them and 
most other tribes throughout the country. 

^''Riverton Ranger, November 22, 1955. 

■"Frank Barrett to Curt Kaiser, August 20, 1957, Frank Barrett 
papers, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming. 
■"Franklin Yoder to Wyoming Congressional Delegation, January 
8, 1958, H.R. 11645, March 31, 1958: Barrett to Lew Bates, 
September 8, 1 958, Surgeon General to Barrett, December 1 , 1 958, 
Barrett papers. 

Mike Mackey is an independent historian who lives 
and works in Powell. A native of Powell, he was an 
organizer of a very successful symposium on the 
Heart Mountain "Relocation Center" held in Powell 
last May. 



1996 Wyoming Historical Calendar 

Illustrated with photographs from the American Heritage Center 

Anniversaries on every day 

Proceeds to the Wyoming State Historical Society 
to fund Society projects 



$5.95 plus postage and handling 

(Wyoming residents should include sales tax) 



Order from your local chapter 
or write to: 

Wyoming State Historical Society 
1740H184 DeU Range Blvd. 
Cheyenne WY 82009 



42 



Autumn 1995 



Book R 



e Views 



--Some Signiricant Recent Book 
Western and Wyoming History 



s in 



Senator Alan Bible and the Politics of the New 

West. By Gary E.Elliott. Reno: University of Nevada 
Press, 1994. xx and 275 pages. Illustrations, tables, 
maps, notes, bibliography, and index. Cloth, $34.95. 

In recent years, historians have developed a substantial 
literature on the transformation of the postwar U.S. West. In 
this revision of his 1990 doctoral dissertation at Northern 
Arizona University, Gary Elliott attempts to show how Alan 
Bible, a relatively obscure Nevada Senator, used the cloak- 
room and his position on the Appropriations Committee to 
attract federal monies for western development. 

Born in 1909, the son of a mmer-turned-small grocery 
entrepreneur. Bible was bookish, stuffy, indecisive, but also 
shrewd and hard-working. As a young man. he fell under the 
influence of Nevada's powerful and vindictive Senator Pat 
McCarran, who organized the Western Conference of Sena- 
tors in 1947. After a stint as state attorney general, during 
which he developed considerable expertise in water law, 
Bible was elected in 1954 to fill out McCarran's unexpired 
term. The new senator came under the influence of Lyndon 
Johnson, who shepherded his career and benefited from 
Bible's support both as Majority Leader and as President. 

Bible's consuming passion was state and regional eco- 
nomic development. In his youth, he had absorbed a vague 
progressive era mentality that held that government should 
be a positive force for economic growth and betterment. 
During the New Deal and World War II years, he had 
witnessed the wondrous power of federal monies pouring 
into Nevada. In the Senate, he concentrated on committee 
work, developing expertise and credibility over a relatively 
narrow range of issues of particular importance to his state. 
That expertise, plus his accommodating personality and 
party loyalty, would ultimately make Bible one of the most 
influential figures on Capitol Hill. 

Water development proved the key to Bible's efforts. 
Working in concert with other western legislators, he brought 
a host of federally financed water projects to the region. 
Probably the most important for his own state was the 
Southern Nevada Water Project, begun in 1968. which 
proved to be the key to the phenomenal expansion of gam- 
bling and tourism in Las Vegas. As chairman of the Parks and 
Recreations Subcommittee after 1 965, however. Bible began 
to confront growing environmental considerations that muted 
his earlier enthusiasm for pure economic development. While 
certainly "no John Muir" (p. 1 89), Bible did come to appre- 
ciate the limits of economic development that the environ- 
ment could sustain. Ultimately he would play a moderating 
role in disputes over a number of hotly contested land use 



questions, most notably in the Indiana Dunes Lakeshore Act 
and the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. 

Elliott argues that Bible was far less effective on issues 
where western legislators were not necessarily in agreement. 
He lobbied with minimal success for federal aid to the 
Nevada mining industry. He forcefully opposed free trade 
and even broke with Lyndon Johnson over policies that 
allowed foreign imports to endanger Nevada's livestock and 
mining interests. And while Bible opposed federal intrusions 
and rule making, he believed Washington could act as an 
effective barrier to greedy local interests. Thus, he opposed 
the Barrett-D'Ewart bills of the 1 950s (co-sponsored by 
Wyoming Senator Frank Barrett) to transfer title of large 
portions of federally-owned land to the states. Certainly, 
Elliott insists that Alan Bible was no early day "Sagebrush 
Rebel." 

Elliott, a professor of history at Community College of 
Southern Nevada, has offered us a good, workman-like 
study. Generally defensive, Elliott properly chastises Bible 
for some of the uncontrolled growth that now pollutes the Las 
Vegas Valley. One might have liked to have seen a fuller 
exploration of Bible's actions on such issues as civil rights 
and anti-poverty programs. Just how did the politics of the 
New West intersect with other controversial aspects of the 
Great Society? On balance, however. this volume enriches 
our understanding of regional and national developments 
since World War II. 

William Howard Moore 
University of Wyoming, Laramie 

The Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation, 1877- 
1900. By Orlan J. Svingen. Boulder: University Press of 
Colorado, 1993. 197 pages, maps, preface, appendices, 
bibliography, index. 

This outstanding book explores the fifteen-year period 
after the northern Cheyenne tribe, in a complex series of 
surrenders by variouscomponent groups, gave up its resistence 
to the forces of mainstream U. S. society. The most famous 
Northern Cheyenne surrender story, (dramatized as histori- 
cal fiction by Mari Sandoz in Cheyenne Autumn), involved 
the escape from Oklahoma imprisonment in autumn 1 877 by 
the people of Dull Knife and Little Wolf. It is one of the great 
stories of American history. Svingen has now given us its 
sequel, detailing in ten clearly written chapters the beginning 
of the tribe's first reservation century. 

It is tempting to believe that after their herioc 1 877 flight 
to the North country and the Fort Robinson outbreak in 



43 



Wyoming Histor\' Journal 

January 1878, the Cheyennes were home free. In 1884, 
thanks to the influence of such enemies-tumed-friends as 
General Nelson A. Miles, they were given their heart's 
desire— a reservation in the beautiful pine hills south of the 
Yellowstone River. They were home at last, on what is today 
the Tongue Ri\ er Reservation in Montana, just north of the 
Wyoming line. But "home free" they were most certainly not. 

Svingen served as a reservation teacher at St. Labre's 
Mission at Ashland, Montana, in 1969, and is now associate 
professor of history at Washington State University. He 
documents almost every paragraph with references to ex- 
haustive research in the National Archives and many other 
national and local libraries. 

Svingen's preface identifies the two factors precipitating 
conflict about the validity of Cheyenne claims to the Tongue 
River country. First was the powerful opposition of White 
stockmen who arrived at the same time the Cheyennes 
returned, and who saw instantly the desirability of Cheyenne 
grass. These kept up a steady campaign of assaults against 
"wild Indians" who butchered cattle (true), and threatened 
the development of commercial ranching (false). Second, 
normal political changes in the United States government 
(different presidents making different changes in policy) 
kept everyone in a state of acute confusion. "Each new 
Interior Secretary and Indian Commissioner reviewed the 
complicated history of the Indians anew, and in two instances 
they considered returning the Tongue River Reservation to 
the public domain." But two other institutions "seldom 
portrayed as helpful to Native Americans" also came to the 
rescue. "The army, impressed with their loyalty and bravery 
as scouts, supported the Cheyennes' attempt to remain in 
Montana. In particular. Gen. Miles recalled how helpful the 
Cheyennes had been in the spring of 1877 in precipitating a 
general surrender of other Plains Indians. Other military men 
also spoke of the Cheyennes as dependable, peace-loving 
people, in marked contrasts to accounts from area stock- 
men." The other helpful forcewere government personnel 
from the Indian Department and Indian Office who inter- 
vened on the Cheyennes' behalf: Hiram Price, Thomas J. 
Morgan, Cornelius Bliss and James McLaughlin and others. 

Chapter 8, "An American Indian Dreyfus Affair," first 
published in Western Historical Quarterly, is praiseworthy. 
It is a dramatic story. Of a group of Cheyennes involved in the 
killing of a white man in 1897, one-David Stanley-was 
clearly guilty. The others. Little Whirlwind and Spotted 
Hawk, were proven not guilty, but sentenced to death with 
Stanley in Miles City, Montana, by a jury of local citizens. 
Stanley died in prison. The others were saved through the 
persistent efforts of Indian Agent George Stouch, surely one 
of the unsung heroes of the early frontier. Stouch was assisted 
in the long struggle by George Bird Grinnell, the anthropolo- 
gist who recorded Cheyenne tradition for nearly a half 
century. It is a fine example of "U.S. Indian agent as good 
guy," allied with army personnel as was often the case. 
Stouch was assisted also by a kind of bone deep legal wisdom 
possessed by the Cheyennes from an early time. 



Svingen expresses thanks to an eight-year-old boy at- 
tending school at St. Labre's Mission, Iron John Blackwolf, 
who taught him "that adversity and happiness can proceed 
hand in hand." (p. xii). It is a lesson yet unlearned by many 
writers of Indian history who describe the fate that befell the 
tribes of the plains. Human life is never lived in heaven, 
despite the notion of Charlie Russell and others, "They've 
lived in heaven for a thousand years, and we took it for forty 
dollars a month." Constant intertribal and anti-white warfare 
was brutally hard on women and children, old people, and 
even men of fighting age. Thirty years' warfare with whites 
left most groups so destitute that surrender with its regular 
supply of food and clothing came as relief, as well as sorrow. 

The Northern Cheyenne Indian Resen'ation. 1877-1900. 
is a wonderful example of the kind of work which needs to be 
done on the reservation periods of many Plains tribes. It is to 
be hoped that Professor Svingen will carry the Cheyenne 
story forward into the twentieth century. With this work as 
background, no one could do it better. 

Margot Liberty 
Sheridan, Wyoming 

Jewel of the Desert: Japanese American Intern- 
ment at Topaz. By Sandra C. Taylor. (Berkeley: 
University of California Press, 1993). 

With the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the sudden 
entrance into World War II, a hysterical nation supported the 
removal of more than 1 10,000 people of Japanese ancestry 
from the West Coast to isolated areas in the country's 
interior. The rationale for forcibly moving the Japanese 
Americans was never grounded in real threats but in per- 
ceived fears that they might assist the Japanese in waging war 
against the United States. 

One of the ten concentration camps for the Japanese 
Americans was located in Utah, fifteen miles from Delta, in 
Millard County. The Central LItah Relocation Center was 
commonly called Topaz, after Topaz Mountain, a local 
landmark where the semiprecious gemstone can be found. 
"From the name 'Topaz' it was an easy step to the sarcastic 
label 'the jewel of the desert,' a slogan proudly printed at the 
top of the camp newspaper." (p. 90) 

"The Jewel of the Desert" is the serious title chosen by 
author Sandra C. Taylor for her history of the Utah Japanese 
American camp. In theauthor's words, "This book analyzes 
the Japanese American experience through the framework of 
community, the network of associations and institutions that 
held together a group of people who were set apart from the 
majority by their ethnicity" (p. xii). 

Dr. Taylor, a Professor of History at the University of 
Utah, is a Caucasian. She admits her bias as being an outsider 
to the community for which she is writing She also takes the 
viewpoint that the Japanese American internment by the 
United States during World War II was wrong. 



44 



iHiMWHillMM M 



Efforts to redress this wrong have been attempted since 
1948. but the final Congressional apology did not come until 
1 988 and compensation began in 1 990. This came after years 
of work by many dedicated individuals mostly within the 
Japanese American community. The redress movement per- 
haps saved the relocation history, for little interest was given 
to this topic prior to the 1980s. Dr. Taylor's well researched 
book comes with the increased interest in the subject during 
our fiftieth commemoration of World War II. Her handling 
of the subject, though, is unique. Most studies of the camps 
have looked mostly at the life within the barbed wire. Dr. 
Taylor begins her book with an examination of the Japanese 
American community in San Francisco prior to the w ar. This 
was the community, due to the random relocation plan, that 
eventually spent the war in Utah. While the Topaz camp was 
being constructed the evacuees were pul behind barbed w ire 
at Tanforan, in California, where they lived in horse stalls. 

Dr. Taylor's vivid accounts of the internees' lives in 
California before the war, in Tanforan. and in Topaz are so 
real the reader can not help but feel for those people. Her 
descriptions are vivid because they came from first person 
accounts. Dr. Taylor interviewed nearly fifty Issei and Nisei 
(first and second generation) Japanese Americans for this 
book. This is no small feat. Culturally, the Japanese Ameri- 
cans are not encouraged to discuss this darker side of their 
history, and the fact that Dr. Taylor was able to collect this 
many first person accounts is a credit to her and her research. 

The many personal stories add the important interpreta- 
tion to Dr. Taylor's book. Too many times, the response to 
the internment of Japanese Americans has been simplified. 
Dr. Taylor, through her many examples, shows that the 
responses have been as varied as the people interned. 

Dr. Taylor's book also looks at the interned community 
after the war and. years later, their response to Redress. 
Again, this is not common in other books on the Japanese 
American internment. It's this follow-up work that makes 
this study particularly interesting. Her findings were, again, 
as varied as the internees. Depending on age, sex, and unique 
experience, every internee was impacted differently. 

This book is a valuable history for Utah, the West, and 
the United States. Though it looks specificalh at one camp, 
it is a case study for the larger Japanese American internment 
experience. Dr. Taylor's unique approach of analyzing the 
experience through community, using many individual ac- 
counts, weaves a valuable history with an important mes- 
sage: May we not forget. 

Antonette Chambers Noble 
Cora, Wyoming 

Sinners and Saints: Tales of Old Laramie City. By 

Gladys Beery. Glendo; High Plains Press, 1994. xiii & 
279 pp. illus., index. Cloth, $21.95; paper, $12.95. 

Sinners and Saints is an entertaining collection of differ- 
ent anecdotal vignettes dedicated to the "little people" who 



Autumn 1QQ5 
spent time in Laramie and to the legacy they have left to their 
inheritors. It is a compilation of thirty-three short stories that 
recount the trials and tribulations, the good and the bad, the 
uplifting and the tragedies of men and women who found 
themselves in Laramie, especially during its early years. 
While there is no straight line historic connection that ties one 
tale to the next, one common theme that emerges among the 
multi-ethnic personalities described in the sketches is that 
what counted was not their age but the quality of their 
character and what they could do. Many of the vignettes 
reflect the strong individualism and resourcefulness of the 
women who came to live in Laramie in what was less than 
ideal living conditions. Divorces were not uncommon as 
frontier women found themselves having to survive on their 
own in this rough-and-tumble community. 

Beery's first tales reflect on the boisterous beginnings of 
Laramie in 1 868 as an "end-of-the-tracks town" as vigilantes 
established law and order, Indian presence was expunged, 
murders occurred in barroom braw Is, and houses of easy 
virtue catered to their male clientele especially from Fort 
Sanders, with Luranue Sentinel editor J. H. Hayford moral- 
izing on what he saw. As Laramie's society became more 
stabilized, the sketches recount the experiences of several 
remarkable women, including "Milkman Mary" who sur- 
\ ived by selling milk from her ranch, cleaning houses and 
midwifery, the empaneling of the world's first jury to seat 
women, the appointment of the world's first lady court bailiff 
and Aunt Fronie whose equestrian skills were legendary . 

The choice of tales in the latter part of the book is more 
eclectic. Some focus on the tregedies of life such as Peter Holt 
who lost his bnde, all his businesses, and his fine gingerbread 
house as he sought to satisfy his creditors, or Bronco Sam 
murdering his beautiful Indian wife in a fit of jealous\ upon 
hearing gossip that she v\as unfaithful which pro\ed to be 
untrue. Others relate the stories of several madams v\hose 
operations of business were allowed as long as they were 
leased and not owned. Still others are tales of redemption 
such as the conversion of the Lone Bandit, Bill Carlisle, and 
his eventual full pardon by the go\ emor. Beery 's tales also 
include several legends. One short story effecti\ely debunks 
the legend that Jesse and Frank James held up the Deadw ood 
Stage in 1878 or that they had a ranch along Little Goose 
Creek. Another does the same in undermining the story that 
the Dalton gang owned property in Laramie. 

At times, the tales can be hard to follow because names 
are mentioned without an initial introduction so the reader is 
perplexed how they fit into the story. Fortunately, there is a 
good index. Also, at the beginning of each tale. Beery has 
included either contemporary photos or an item rele\ant to 
the story. She ends each tale with a helpful biographical essay 
which describes and editorializes on the sources she has 
consulted. Sinners and Saints is a welcome addition to the 
colorful history of the West and which residents, especially 
of Albany County, will enjoy. 

Francois M. Dickman 
University of Wyoming. Laramie 

45 



Wyoming History Journal 



T{Jef04Hc^ ^eofile ut^ ^c<iton4f. 



Lillian Heath Nelson, Pioneer Woman Doctor 

By Larry Brown 



The despondent sheep herder pressed the cold steel 
muzzle of his shotgun to the point of his chin. The blast 
of buckshot that followed a split second later tore away 
not only all jaw flesh and bone within its path, but the 
upper lip, tip of his tongue, and end of his nose. 
Fortuitously, the burning gun powder instantly cauter- 
ized the wound, thus prevent- 
ing any major loss of blood. 
Deadly shock, too, was averted 
thanks in part to the bitter cold. ' 

History does not record 
who found the fifty-three year- 
old Englishman or how he 
came that November night in 
1 886 to Dr. Thomas G. Maghee 
in nearby Rawlins, Wyoming. 
After learning of the attempted 
suicide, the physician imme- 
diately called for Lillian Heath, 
his 21 -year-old nurse. As was 
their custom, she preceded the 
doctor to his office in the old 
stone building on the north side 
of Cedar Street where she pre- 
pared disinfectant and medi- 
cal instruments. Having every- 
thing in order, she went to the 
drug store across the street. In 
the meantime, Doctor Maghee 
arrived with his patient. Once 
the man was undressed and 
prepared for surgery, the doctor signalled with an oil 
lamp from the large, front window of his office for the 
nurse to return. Together, they saved the patient, later 
rebuilding his face so that he lived into the next century .- 

It was his protege' s aptitude, intelligence, and skilled 
help during that experience, and many others like it, that 
impelled Doctor Maghee to recommend her for formal 
medical training. Thanks to her mentor's confidence 
and initiative, Lillian Evelyn Heath subsequently be- 
came Wyoming's first woman physician and surgeon. - 

Heath, bom December 29, 1865, at her maternal 
Grandfather Hunter's farm near Burnett Junction, Wis- 
consin, was one of two children bom to William A. and 
Calista Heath. Three years after her birth, the family 
moved to Aplington, Iowa, where they remained until 
46 




Lillian Heath Nelson 

Photograph courtesy of the Wyoming State Archives, 
Wyoming Dept. of Commerce 



September 1873 when they continued by train to Wyo- 
ming Territory. Following brief stays at Cheyenne and 
Laramie, they moved on to Rawlins where, in October 
1 877, they made their home at the Larry Hayes Union 
Pacific Hotel on the northwest comer of Fifth and Front 
streets. It was two years later before Lillian's father, 
who eamed his keep by artisti- 
cally painting Union Pacific's 
omate locomotives and rolling 
stock, built his family a log 
cabin of salvaged telegraph 
poles in town. Finally, in 1 88 1 , 
Lillian's father constmcted a 
permanent, two-story home for 
his family at 1 1 1 West Cedar 
Street.' 

It was while she and her 
sister, Sylvia May ( "Tib" ) spent 
their childhood in that modest, 
but comfortable abode that the 
girls attended the local schools. 
She did so well academically 
that at age sixteen she was per- 
mitted to teach children at 
School No. 5 near New Carbon 
and later in a classroom at the 
Pass Creek. It was five more 
years until she completed aca- 
demic study at Rawlins High 
School. Upon receiving her di- 
ploma, she worked as a substi- 



tute teacher at the old Central School in Rawlins before 

' David Crosson, "Plastic Surgery on the Wyoming Frontier," Rocky 
Mountain Medical Journal (Boulder, Colorado: Colorado Medical 
Society), 73 (July-August 1976), 194-198; Dr. Courtney A. 
Brown-Waltnp. telephone interview with author, Columbia Pres- 
byterian Hospital, New York, March 20, 1995. 
- Crosson, "Plastic Surgery on the Wyoming Frontier"; also "Death 
Claims Dr. Lillian (Evelyn) Heath at Memorial Hospital Sunday," 
Rawlins Daily Times, August 7, 1962, pp. 1 , 9; Neal Miller, "Lillian 
Heath, M.D.," (unpublished manuscript), n.d., 46 on microfilm (H- 
S, MA#1493-Miscellaneous Materials and Biographical Sketch of 
Dr. Heath [Mrs. Lillian Nelson]), Wyoming State Archives, Wyo- 
ming Department of Commerce. 

' "Death Claims Dr. Lillian (Evelyn) Heath at Memorial Hospital 
Sunday"; Lael Miller, "For Night Calls — A .32 Revolver: Mrs. Lou 
Nelson, Resident 77 Years, was Early-day Physician in Rawlins," 
Rawlins Daily Times. August 16, 1955, pp. C-5, C-7, C-10 



continuing her education at the University of Colorado 
in 1890. The following year, with Dr. Maghee's en- 
dorsement, she transferred to Keokuk, Iowa, where she 
entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons. After 
graduating in March, 1 893, she specialized in obstetrics 
for three months at the college's Mercy Hospital, before 
going back to Rawlins which had grown to a population 
of about 1,500.^ 

Shortly after her return to her hometown, she opened 
a small medical office in the living room of her parents' 
home. One night, she was called out of a masquerade 
ball to deliver a baby. The woman, she said, was a 
"great, big, healthy girl and this was her first baby,... 
[but] wouldn't work on the delivery — ^just laid there 
hour after hour. Finally, I rolled her over and swatted 
her backside good three or four times. The delivery 
started soon after and she gave normal birth to a big, 
healthy boy without any trouble."' 

Respectable women of that time usually did not go 

out after dark without an escort, so to avoid gossip and 

potential trouble from drifters and drunks. Doctor Heath 

had a dress especially tailored to help disguise her 

figure. She also concealed a brace of revolvers in two 

deep, inner pockets although she never had to fire them 

in anger." 

To help maintain her medical skills, she regularly 

attended summer medical clinics in Denver, but during 

her free hours there she also modeled fashions at the 

Daniels and Fisher French Room. Store personnel, in 

fact, wanted her to be a full-time mannequin." 

At home in Rawlins, she also enjoyed biking and 
was the only woman member of the local bicycle club. 
Her other interests included service to the St. Thomas 
Episcopal Church. She also was secretary to the Knights 
of Labor, a labor organization of the late 1880s, and 
maintained active membership in the local Rebekahs' 
lodge and the Colorado Medical Society.' 

In Colorado, she met handsome, mustachioed Louis 
J. Nelson, a young Norwegian painter and decorator. 
During their courtship, the Spanish- American War broke 
out and Lou was called to service. The marriage had to 
be delayed. It was not until he was discharged from his 
unit at Ft. Ord in Nebraska and made a member of the 
honor guard for President William McKinley, who was 
attending the Trans-Mississippi Exposition in Omaha, 
that Lillian was able to rejoin her fiance. 

They married on October 24, 1898, at a friend's 
home. Following the simple ceremony, they returned to 
Rawlins where they lived for all but the three years 
[1909-1911] they owned and managed the Ben-Mar 
Hotel in Lamar, Colorado.'" 



Autumn 1Q95 
During her later years, she and her husband became 
active in the U.S. War Veterans organization as well as 
the Wyoming State Historical Society and its the Car- 
bon County chapter. And when Lou joined the 
B.P.O.E.[Benevolent Protective Order of Elks], Lillian 
became a Doe in the fraternal order's auxiliary." 

Although she did not aggressively practice her 
profession after 1909, the entry to her office remained 
open to all who needed her healing hands thanks in part 
to "Big Nose George" Parrott's skull that she used as a 
doorstop and flower pot. The outlaw's brain bowl had 
been given to her by fellow physician. Dr. John E. 
Osborne, who later became governor of Wyoming. She 
also continued her medical studies and maintained her 
accreditation and license as a doctor until her death in 
the early morning hours of Sunday, August 5,1962, at 
Rawlins Memorial Hospital. She had been hospitalized 
there since the previous February when she broke her 
hip for the second time.'- 

And so it was, at nearly ninety-seven years of age, 
she joined her kin in their family cemetery plot to the 
sweet strains of her favorite musicians: canaries and 
coyotes." 

•■Neal Miller. '■Lillian Healh. M.D.." .^. 6-7, 10. The Heath's first log 
cabin, behind the old Lambertsen Texaco Station, is believed to be 
the oldest original residence in Rawlins. 

^ "Annual Announcement of the Fifty-Second Session of the Col- 
lege of Physicians and Surgeons," Keokuk (Iowa) Press of the 
Constitiaion-Democral. n.d.; also Lael Miller, "For Night Calls..." 
''Miller. "Lillian Heath. M,D.." 40 
'Ibid, 41 

» Lael Miller, "For Night Calls..." 

"Ibid. She did not join the Wyoming State Medical Society during 
its early years, she said, because she would have been the only 
woman member, "a fact which would have made both the male 
members and herself uncomfortable at meetings." 
'""Death Claims Dr. Lillian (Evelyn) Heath at Memonal Hospital 
Sunday." The Nelson's lost their total investment when the hotel 
failed financially, 
" Lael Miller, "For Night Calls..." 

'- Phil Roberts. "Prominent Physicians in Wyoming History," 
Buffalo Bones: Stories from Wyoming's Past. AMH Department. 
December, 1979; "Wyoming Pioneer Woman Doctor Visits Hospi- 
tals Here After 36- Year Retirement," Denver Post. August 30, 
1955. 

" Ibid.; "Me. ..Your Favonte," list on microfilm H-S, MA#1493- 
Miscellaneous Materials and Biographical Sketch of Dr. Heath 
[Mrs. Lillian Nelson], n.d., 32. She had saved a list of her favorites 
things — color, flower, tree, perfume, poets, artists — included 
were references to canaries and coyotes. 

Larry K. Brown is a Cheyenne author and histo- 
rian. His most recent book. The Hog Ranches of 
Wyoming, was published earlier this year by High 
Plains Press. 



47 



(Continued from inside front cover) 

*History Research Grants: Each year your state 
historical society offers grants that further research 
and study of Wyoming history. These grants go to 
scholars and to society members like you who are 
interested in improving our knowledge of the past. 
Your membership in the state historical society 
makes it possible for those grants to continue. 

*History Publishing: Your state historical society 
has recently begun a publishing effort that will 
result in the publication of books about Wyoming 
that would otherwise not be published. Already the 
program has resulted in the republication of a book 
about Wyoming during World War II that was no 
longer available. Other books are forthcoming. 
Your membership in the state historical society 
continues that effort and gives you access to those 
books at a reduced cost. 

*Speclal History Projects: The Wyoming History 
in Art project, the state cemetery records project, 
and the Wyoming Centennial Print project are 
examples of the kinds of special projects that are 
sponsored by your state historical society. The 
results are greater public appreciation and under- 
standing of our state's rich history. 

*Chapter Support: Federal and state govern- 
ments impose tax and income reporting require- 
ments. Your state historical society takes care of 
those requirements and relieves your local chap- 
ter of those responsibilities. 

Individually, these benefits are more important to 
some members, and less important to others. But 
together they represent the essence of the Wyo- 
ming State Historical Society. If you believe that 
Wyoming needs such an organization, then the 
society deserves your support. 

For additional information, contact any of your 
local chapter officers or write: 

Wyoming State Historical Society 
1740H184 Dell Range Blvd. 
Cheyenne WY 82009 



Wyoming State Historical Society 
l\/lembersliip Dues - 
Effective October 1 , 1 995 

Single individual annual membership $20 

Joint annual membership $30 

(two persons residing at same address) 

Student individual membership $15 

(registered students up to age 21) 

Institutional/Business annual membership $40 

The dues listed above represent minimum contri- 
butions to the work of the society. If you believe the 
Wyoming State Historical Society plays an impor- 
tant role in the quality of life in our state, we urge 
you to consider participation at one of the following 
higher levels. Membership dues beyond the mini- 
mums listed above may be considered a tax- 
deductible contribution to the Wyoming Historical 
Foundation. 

Contributing annual membership $100-249 

Sustaining annual membership $250-499 

Patron annual membership $500-999 

Donor annual membership $1,000-i- 



FRIENDS OF THE 

WYOMING STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

RECENT GIFTS 

Patron 

Sally and Wayne Vanderpoel, Torrington 
Sustaining 

Bozeman Trail-Fort Phil Kearny Assoc. 
Northwest Symposium, Northwest College 
Wyoming Almanac 
Contributing 

Mrs. Lynn Friess, Jackson 
Sherman Gray, Glen Head, N. Y. 
Eric Nye, Laramie 
Memorials 

In memory of Mary E. White 

John Rogers, Cheyenne 

Bill and Rosemary Wilcynski, Buffalo 

Irene Kostenbauer, Buffalo 

Yvonne Hall, Buffalo